Middle-school is a time of awkward aging and increased social pressures. It’s also a time when many students develop a negative opinion of STEM subjects: while 81% of teens say they like science, only 37% say they enjoy their science classes.
Clearly, outside organizations can do a lot to supplement classroom science lessons with K-12 outreach that embraces innovative forms of teaching. Not only does this inspire the future innovators in your field to pursue STEM-related careers; it also supercharges your brand reputation in the eyes of your stakeholders.
However, many schools, burdened with limited class time and the demands of standardized testing, are skeptical of welcoming outside programs. How can your organization connect to schools with K-12 outreach as educational as it is exciting?
The key is not to replace or outdo classroom lessons, but to design your organization’s K-12 program as a creative complement to the standard curriculum. By aligning your outreach with national education standards, you’ll earn teachers’ trust and inspire them to embrace your program as a valuable way to engage and inspire their students.
Incorporating national education standards into your organization’s K-12 outreach in an interesting way sounds like common sense. But it’s easier said than done. In order to have access to schools and connect to your community in meaningful ways, adopt the appropriate educational standards, whether that be the Next Generation Science Standards or your individual state’s standards. Doing this ensures that your program has educational value and benefits educators. On the other hand, in order to avoid simply repeating classroom lessons, use creativity, humor and storytelling to provide a special experience for K-12 students.
For 40 years, NTC has been perfecting this balance. Our inspiring, educational K-12 programs have been honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, covered by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and have even performed at the White House. Since 2010 alone, we’ve engaged over 6 million students at more than 18,000 schools in 44 states – all on behalf of organizations like yours.
Watch the video and download the infographic to learn more.