Get your outreach committee together at least 4 months ahead. Get supportive STEM education coordinators in your area to partner up with of a high school you have traditionally done outreach at.
Send out polls and sign up volunteers. Put an outline together. Identify event dates, venue and volunteer roles-Food coordinators(It's a bootcamp!), Table wranglers, Handout editors, Org liaisons.
Make a flyer which could turn into a poster. Reach out to local sections of NSBE, IEEE, ACS and local firms. Highlight their presence on advertising material once they confirm participation.
Now that you have venue, timeline and flyers, how do you crunch your section's moola? Fear not! You have org partners with the same goal. Some of them will even sponsor activities to promote STEM.
Some of your org partners/sponsors will even agree to host the event participants for a field trip. Get the field trip date crystallized!Pronto!
Get a PD grant proposal in for all the outlier costs of food, certificates, testimonial booklet handouts, badges etc etc at least two months before the event.
To get students to sign up - Local school district and section newsletters will help you share the flyer . Send weekly reminders to school guidance counselors. Use social network and mailing lists.
Once the students sign up, get media/photo release forms and permission slips out to them and make sure that they are handed in before the event.
Design hands-on activities- such as Stirling engines, electrical engineering design kits with little bits,your own air quality sensor modules, building bridges- some of the seven we did.
Use the popular tools of the trade in your event. Central Illinois SWE section has a 3D printer that was donated by Caterpillar inc. This ginned up a lot of interest.
Have people from sponsoring or supporting organizations and recent graduates present at the event and share their experiences before your hands-on activity sessions.
Event Session tips- Keep them interactive. Have participants interact with each other and present their ideas in front of their peers. Play engineering videos. Note- Grace Hopper is always popular.
Get the students to sign up for SWE Next and make sure they know about all the resources that SWE NEXT offers. Talk to chaperones and parents about the tool.
Emphasize on scholarship opportunities with SWE and your partner orgs if they offer them.
Handouts- You have buttons, bags, t-shirts, certificates and then you have Testimonial booklets-Poll professional /collegiate section membership and get responses engineers-present and future.
A successful SWE led outreach partnership event recipe- Make sure you collect media release forms, permission slips before the event and you can repeat this every single year. Success begets success!!
Make sure you get feedback from volunteers and students. Meet with the committee and discuss all the lessons learned. Send thank you's to all the volunteers who signed up through your poll.
Don't forget to thank the partners who sponsored/supported the event . Make sure to get feedback. Nurture and continue partnerships with similar minded organizations and build on it! Onwards and out!
Most engineering organizations/societies have the same outreach goals - to promote engineering and foment interest in all engineering disciplines. Wish you luck in your future events and partnerships!