The day started with food, and lots of it. After all, we needed the executives to be mentally alert during this training session!
We started the day with a quick behaviour inventory and we placed everyone on the map! Turns out next year’s leadership (Honghu & Tina) will be dominated by expressives. More on that in a later post.
Next, we delved deep into ourselves and the organization by brainstorming exactly why we did what we did (what did we do? We’ll see). Drawing on collective experiences, we quickly highlighted a few key ideas that were common to all of our STEM enrichment activities.
From Shad to DEEP to science fairs, a few themes jumped out at us. We all wanted:
- to be part of a community
- to gain unique experience and confidence
- to be inspired and motivated
- to gain answers and similarly to be around innovators who do the same
- to explore new fields
- and of course, to have fun
Under our motto, Enrich, Empower, Explore, we categorized how Science Expo could help facilitate all these learning experiences.
We can help high school’ers:
- Enrich their academics through a community of like-minded curious innovators.
- Empower their leadership experiences through inspiration, motivation, and confidence.
- Explore their potential beyond the classroom through new experiences and, of course, fun.
We exist to engage those youth not yet engaged in these opportunities because we’ve all undergone their amazing transformative experiences and we believe that our peers can benefit from them too.
What we’re fundamentally trying to communicate is how the interconnected nature of STEM opens doors. It’s not just science, it’s not just math. It’s when science, technology, engineering, come together that the magic happens.
Additionally, we’ve all seen and felt firsthand the impact that these open doors have and we look forward to sharing them with our friends.
Thus, we set about to clarify Science Expo’s vision: to create a community of youth engaged in STEM.
How we go about doing that, exactly, is governed by our core values, mainly:
- community & informality
- trust & honesty
- transparency & critical
- reliability & work ethic
- amiability & empathy
With that, we set about to clarify our mission statement: to connect youth to STEM opportunities. Why? Well, because we know firsthand how STEM opens doors and impacts lives.
With our mission in hand, we set about evaluating our current program offering.
- Our conference highlights the impact of STEM and brings people together.
- School Outreach is an avenue of enrichment and exploration.
- meriSTEM encompasses empowerment, yet isn’t doing so right now.
- EXPOtential should continue the community feel, yet is also not doing so right now.
We don’t know how meriSTEM and EXPOtential will look next year, but be prepared for some changes as we listen to your feedback and adjust our programming accordingly.