Calling all young professionals from varied fields! 

Do you work in a STEM field such as cyber security, digital marketing, financial services, software engineering, research sciences, graphic design, etc., etc., etc.? The list includes many arts-focused professions too such as graphic artists, fashion design, and even chefs, sculptors, and other artists! Our definition of STEM is broad! Do you use STEM in your everyday life? (The answer is YES, probably more than you think!) Are you interested in giving back to students, but aren’t sure how?  Well, we have some options for you!

talkSTEM (and the young people you’ll be reaching) need your help! The #STEMLens initiative is an easy and quick but impactful way to show off your STEM mindset and encourage students to develop them as well. The best part? You can do it all from your phone! 

Here’s an example of a recent #STEMLens that shared by a talkSTEM team member. What do you observe in her photo? What other questions come to your mind? We’d love to hear!

How much area of this roof is covered in shade? Does the amount of shade change throughout the day? Does a house with more shade have a lower electricity bill than a house with no shade?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Look around you and be curious. Pay attention to the questions that come up during your daily routine. Things like, “Why does water from the dishwasher cling to plastic containers more than glass or ceramic ones?” or “What is the optimally efficient size for a load of laundry?” Don’t worry about trying to answer the questions – the goal is to encourage thinking and seeing through a STEM viewpoint. Further investigation is wonderful, but not required! 
  2. Take a picture. Grab students’ attention with a quick snapshot of whatever peaked your curiosity. 
  3. Add your observations and/or questions. Mark up your photo with quick diagrams, arrows, or anything that helps students see what you see (and wonder what you wonder). 
  4. Share! Post your photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #STEMLens and tag talkSTEM (Facebook – @talkSTEM, twitter/instagram – @talkingSTEM). 

That’s it! These four simple steps will help talkSTEM build a library of photos that inspire students to see STEM all around them. This engagement is especially important now that students are outside of their typical classrooms and routines.  At talkSTEM, we are growing our community so that, together, we can build a rich and fascinating library of real world STEM connections that teachers and other educators can easily use. We partner with a wide range of youth-serving organizations so that we can achieve impact.

If you want to take sharing your STEM mindset even further, bring students with you on a walkSTEM tour! Take three or more photos on a walk around your neighborhood, your favorite place to hang out, or your workplace. You can even use photos from your last vacation! Remember your #STEMLens and ask a question for each photo. This time, answer the question and walk students through your thought process. Check out this walkSTEM video playlist at Starbucks for inspiration! 

This is your opportunity to be a virtual mentor to elementary, middle, and highschool students during a time when they need the most support. You have a STEM mindset – now help grow more! 

If you want to do more, make sure to join the talkSTEM Young Professionals Group. Click here to learn more about the members and their STEM journeys. Feel free to reach out to info@talkstem.org with any questions. They would love to hear from you!

Please sign up to join our community and receive notifications about new content. We share perspectives of thought leaders in the STEM learning ecosystem as well as talkSTEM’s original content. It’s all designed to engage and inspire our youth and to grow strong STEM ecosystems everywhere!

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