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Young Professionals of Wichita Blog Post STEM

December 3, 2015

Are You a STEM All Star?

Local initiative seeks to build a STEM professional database for educators

Stef Flores - YPW Program Coordinator


Fueling a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math fields will help grow our economy and better equip current students with the skills they need to be successful. According to the National Science Foundation, “…scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed…students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”


The STEMpact2020 initiative, hosted by WSU’s College of Engineering, helps bridge the gap between STEM professionals and students here in Wichita. Their thoughtful work has helped bring science, technology, engineering, and math professionals to after-school programs, science fairs, summer camps, and conferences. Last spring, the initiative’s work helped Wichita become recognized at the White House as a winner of the US2020 City Competition for the strong community collaboration dedicated to STEM outreach and mentoring.

To connect more schools with STEM professionals in the area, the initiative is building a database for what they call their STEM All Stars. This database will have a brief description of local STEM professionals who are willing to come to schools to speak on their subject matter, and educators will be able to search for highly qualified speakers. Think of how powerful it would be to have an electrical engineer come into a high school classroom as the class prepares to learn about electricity. Or, think of how valuable it would be to bring in a professional geneticist as a middle school class prepares to learn about DNA and gene traits. There’s a wide range of possibility for these All Stars.

How can you help?

If you’re a STEM professional, take a look at STEMpact2020’s website and sign up to be a STEM All Star. It’s a simple process: complete the short online form indicating your preferences and availability, complete the Volunteer Registration Form, watch as your profile is posted, and be contacted when an educator requests your skill set. And, since the STEMpact2020 team respects your time, they will work to coordinate schedules so neither you nor the educator have that added responsibility.

Not a STEM professional? The website also lists several mentoring opportunities that offer variety and flexibility.

Thank you to STEMpact2020 for your work bridging the gap between our schools and our STEM community! We are happy to partner with you.

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