The information and document provide guidance and clarification as to how facilitators can personalize the CPV Training and Resources to a STEM-focused program.
CPV for STEM Programs
College Positive Volunteers may require more context around how to reframe the CPV program with a STEM focus. Here are some important topics to cover within the training itself to help CPVs make the connection between CPV and STEM:
- What are STEM Careers?
- Why are STEM Careers important?
- Is a STEM Career right for me?
- Why are STEM Careers in demand?
CPVs can reflect on these questions in the context of their mentoring program, as well as on a personal basis, to better prepare them to talk about STEM with K-12 youth.
Many of the activities listed in the CPV toolkit can be easily adapted to meet the needs of a STEM-focused program. Here are a few examples.
Elementary School Students
College Event Field Trip – Event-Based
Modification: Take students to a college event, i.e., XXX EXAMPLES HERE XXX, etc. Talk about college attendance at the event, how they can live on campus and be a part of the college community, and that they can get involved with anything that interests them while in college. Invite other college students to participate in younger student(s). Encourage the college students to talk to the elementary student(s) and ask college positive questions.
Good Habits Poster –
Modifications: Are there specific behaviors or traits that are helpful within STEM fields? Share your own personal habits that you have learned and developed to become successful in your field and in college in general. Take time to explain the steps on how you developed these skills and maintained them overtime.
Modification: Gather a small group or class for discussion on how to foster good study habits at home. Students can discuss obstacles that prevent them from studying or completing assignments, especially those focused on STEM, and assist each other in brainstorming solutions. To ensure a safe environment for struggling students, you might gather typical obstacles that students are facing from private discussions. You can then be the one to introduce these anonymously into the discussion. For example, you might mention that youXXXX EXAMPLE HERE XXX. That way, the student(s) with the sibling problem do not have to be singled out or have the courage to speak up, but can still hear possible solutions.
Middle School Students
Role Model Study – Short Term
Modification: Have students study the life of a famous individual or a role model within a STEM field: What is the person’s occupation? What training did he/she need for that occupation? What characteristics made that individual a success? Why did the student choose that particular individual? How can the student follow in the individual’s footsteps?
Students Invite Speakers – Extended Term
Modification: Have students decide which STEM careers they are interested in and help them find and invite individuals in the field to come speak to their class. Before visiting with the students, be sure to notify the speaker of any crucial information or special needs regarding the students with which they will speak during their visit. The speaker can talk about his/her career, steps toward the career, as well as how to study, interview, show self–confidence, etc.
High School Students
Long-Term Mentor Connection – Extended Term
Modification: Connect the student to someone who might serve as a long–term mentor to offer ongoing personal, academic, and professional guidance. There are several mentorship programs that pair students with STEM professionals. Below are some examples:
- STEM Equity for Role Models – Training Video: Role models can attract students to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) careers by sharing personal stories using positive messaging. This 30 minute training session aims to equip STEM professionals to speak to students about careers in STEM.
- TechBridge Role Models Matter Toolkit: The Role Models Matter Online Training Toolkit will help you develop skills to engage girls and underrepresented youth in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) through readings, videos, questions, and more.
- Engineering Equity into Education Resources for STEM Role Models: Resource list for volunteer role models, and includes sample presentations.
- Engineering Focus: Helping Girls Engineer Their Future: Engineering Focus is designed to prepare readers to advocate for engineering to a variety of audiences, with the goal of increasing the number of students entering engineering.
- Million Women Mentors Campaign: Pledge to be a mentor!
The activities within the CPV Training Activities Packet can be modified to fit a STEM-focused program.
Activity 1: Road Map to College
This activity can generally stay the same, but be framed within a STEM lens. For example, when volunteers answer the question about the people who influenced their path to college, they could also speak to who influenced their choice to pursue STEM.
Activity 2: Creating an Activity List
This activity can also be framed within a STEM lens. For example, when volunteers list an activity and the reasons why this activity would be appropriate for their audience, they could also list how this helps further STEM goals within the program, or how the activity encourages youth to pursue STEM fields.
Activity 3: Developing a Plan of Action
This activity can be altered to better address the assumptions students often make about the STEM field. For example, one scenario could address a male student mocking a female student because STEM is not traditionally accepted as a female space. During the training, volunteers could practice how they would address this situation, perhaps by providing female STEM role models as examples of women within the field.
Activity 4: Paying for College
This activity could expand upon the scholarship opportunities for prospective students pursuing a STEM-related degree. See below for more information.
The STEM field offers a variety of scholarships and funding opportunities to incoming students often not found within other disciplines. Support students as they search for funding opportunities to support their STEM careers. Some examples of places to look include: