Will there be a 2019 Shoreline STEM Festival?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Will there be a STEM festival for me?
Photo by Peter Tong
September 17th volunteer meeting will determine fate of festival 

For the past six years, children in Kindergarten through 12th grade have had the opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) thanks to Shoreline STEM, a community-based, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization.

Now, as some of the organization’s long-time volunteer team is moving on to new activities, few volunteers have stepped in to take their places. 

Without volunteers, the Shoreline STEM Festival will close.

“Any all-volunteer effort rises and falls on the engagement and time of able volunteers,” explains outgoing president and co-founder Terry Stevens-Ayers. 
“The Shoreline STEM Festival is no exception. We have sponsors and a location. Shoreline Community College is partnering with us again to host the event on June 1, 2019. However, we’re short critical volunteers to help bring the event to life.”

Will the STEM festival sink or float?
 A new president will take the helm, and part of the committee is returning from last year.

What they really need are new hands-on volunteers who can organize and publicize festival activities, coordinate science fair registration, manage the t-shirt design contest and arts activities at the festival, oversee science fair judging and awards, and coordinate with the organization’s partners and social media.

“If we have a lot of volunteers, this event is easy to manage while working full-time,” says Stevens-Ayers. 
She should know, as she, along with most of the founding committee, works full-time. 
“We have great documentation to support each position, and there are plenty of people here who are ready to coach new volunteers through their first year.”

The event plays a critical role in introducing children to STEM topics and STEM careers. Research indicates that children are more likely to believe that STEM topics are interesting and available to them if they have a hands-on experience like this festival in their formative years.

With interactive exhibits from STEM professionals, a K-12 student science fair, and a huge robotics expo, the STEM festival exposes children and their families to an enormous array of possibilities. 

“This Festival is critical to sparking an interest in STEM careers in the next generation,” Stevens-Ayers explains. “But we can’t do it with just a handful of people. If we can’t find enough volunteers, the festival will likely be cancelled.”

The deadline is looming for the small non-profit organization. On Monday, September 17, they will host a kick-off planning meeting at 7:30pm at the Shoreline Library (345 NE 175th St, Shoreline 98155). If they don’t have enough volunteers show up, they will discuss shutting down the organization.

“If someone wants to volunteer but can’t make it on the 17th, they can reach out to me directly,” Stevens-Ayers added. “They can email me at president@shorelinestem.org, or check out our website for more information."


Heather Fitzpatrick (UpturnStrategies.com) September 12, 2018 at 4:34 PM  

A number of the Girl Scouts in my daughter's troop have participated in this event. I know it inspires girls (and boys) to consider careers in STEM - and the research supports my observations. Most kids decide whether they "like" STEM topics or not by about 3rd grade, and the more hands-on experiences they have, the more comfortable they will feel with STEM in the future, and the more successful they will be in STEM subjects in school. I hope this important event continues!!

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