If you only do one thing this Engineers Week (Feb 18 – 24) we hope you’ll reach out to a school, classroom teacher, librarian, or after-school leader near you and offer to volunteer.
I bet you have a bunch of reasons not to – you’re too busy, they don’t really need your help, you don’t know what to do, or maybe you’re worried that won’t be very good.
But have you stopped to consider all of the reasons why you’d make a great volunteer?
- You can change a student’s life!
- Do you know that 75% of students do NOT have an opportunity to meet an engineer or STEM professional?1 And educators report and research shows that students’ interest increases after meeting a STEM role model.2
- Educators want and need your help!
- Teachers and afterschool leaders are currently facing many challenges, work incredibly hard, and are struggling to keep up. As a STEM professional, you can make a big difference by offering to come in and talk about your work, tutor students in math or science, or lead hands-on engineering activities. Even a short visit can make a big difference.
- It’s good for you.
- Several studies 3 have found links between volunteering and positive physical and mental health. Plus, DiscoverE’s volunteers consistently report that visiting a classroom or afterschool reminds them of what they like about their jobs and why they became an engineer.
And that’s not all.
You can play a pivotal role in addressing the shortage of students pursuing engineering. By volunteering, you can inspire students and share your real-world STEM experiences. You can:
- Help students understand the relevance of what they are learning in school and how it applies to actual engineering projects and potential jobs and careers.
- Boost students’ confidence in their abilities. As a role model you can show students that with dedication and hard work, they too can pursue successful careers in STEM.
- Build a stronger and more supportive educational community by actively participating in initiatives that benefit both students and teachers.
Engineers Week provides a unique opportunity for engineers to step up and contribute their skills to address the challenges in education. By volunteering, you can inspire, support, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of students and the education community as a whole.
We hope you’ll take a moment to reach out and offer to volunteer in a classroom or after school. You don’t need to visit during Engineers Week—anytime that works for you and the educator is the right time—but when you do you’ll be doing yourself, your local students, and the educators in your community a big favor if you do.
1 DiscoverE 2023 Annual Participant Survey
2 DiscoverE. Despite the Odds. 2019. Alexandria, VA.
3 The Atlantic. The Physiological Power of Altruism. DECEMBER 30, 2015