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Julie commented on STEMbook: Connecting Classrooms to STEM professionals

Hi Tiffany Fourment! No worries. I think we're in great shape. In my understanding, ieate was mostly about idea generation. In the Build phase (starting tomorrow!) we can continue to expand this idea through the doc and I think we'll get some coaching on what we should be building towards. I'm excited to continue to collaborating on this with you!

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Julie commented on 3D Bio Printing

I love the idea of connecting chemistry with this challenge, e.g. testing various recipes and comparing how well they would work with the printer. Do you think this is possible based on what you know about bioprinters?

Having done various chemistry of food activities in the past with students I can attest to the power of this approach! Excited to hear more about your idea, Jessica Lura 

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Julie commented on STEMbook: Connecting Classrooms to STEM professionals

Hi Tiffany! I'm so glad you commented. It sounds like we have a similar vision and experience. In grad school I set up a program linking mostly grad students and post docs to local teachers. It was successful while I managed it, but didn't survive long after I left. Ever since I've been playing with exactly the issues you've described!

A couple thoughts:
(1) I think grad students and post docs are often an untapped market in this regard. They often have a little more time and motivation to do outreach at this point in their careers and, anecdotally, I've noticed they often connect more easily with students. However, unless a classroom teacher has experience in academia they might not know to reach out to this population.

(2) For a network of this type to succeed at a large scale, we would have to minimize the amount of management. This is where emulating Facebook and other social networking sites comes in. My vision is that if signing in, finding, and responding to contacts is as easy as interacting your FB feed, more people will participate. Building tools into the network that make it easier for folks to connect around common interests and contribution level will make it easier for everyone. I’ve started a google doc with more ideas about this functionality and I’d love your ideas! (see below)

(3) The other big issue is recruitment and I’ve been thinking about how to incentivize participation beyond fulfilling the general need to do outreach (e.g. due to grant requirements or corporate policy). What would it look like to offer limited mentorship to help professionals build more effective outreach presentations or tools, in exchange for participation. This could just mean videos that cover key ideas and then targeted feedback from a small group of teacher-mentors. (Perhaps akin to coaches in this program!) This also gets to the issue of “quality control” which is certainly a critical one.

More ideas here:  https://goo.gl/UEGwBC

I’d love to hear your thoughts!
-Julie