Interactions with working scientists and other STEM professionals transform students' understanding of who can be a scientist and engineer. In addition, visits from experts can invigorate a lesson and add authenticity to student projects, but they can be difficult to set up without a lot of existing connections.
What would it look like to have a functioning network of STEM professionals interested in outreach that teachers could connect to as easily as logging onto Facebook? STEM professionals interested in outreach of various types could create profiles describing their research and the kinds of roles they would be willing to play. Teachers could engage with this network to arrange classroom or virtual visits from experts in their students' areas of study or to seek expert feedback on a new piece of curriculum. A network of this type would also make it easier for teachers to create projects that follow students' curiosity and tackle real-world problems, by giving students access to expert guides.
More information about this idea can be found HERE.
Here are some rough mock-ups of what profile pages on STEMbook could look like:
I would love your feedback on these pages. What would encourage you to participate in a network like this? What would you want to know about other participants? What would make building connections easy? Click HERE to leave feedback or just leave a comment below.