Using Special Events for Outreach
Special events and days are great for creating content and engaging your audience. Consider using events like celebration days, nationally recognized days, and public holidays as a reason to reach out to your audience about how your project or center connects.
First, identify particular days or holidays that could work for your project or center. Consider your field, whether agriculture, biology, manufacturing, or information technology. Which holidays or recognized days could work with your area? Planning an outreach message around specific significant events like winter holidays, Mother or Fathers Day, or the beginning of a particular season like summer can engage your audience in new ways. Make sure to see what others in your field celebrate, for example, Drone Safety Day from the Federal Aviation Administration; they partner with the ATE funded National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) who host the official website for the event.
Then, plan around the concept. For example, how could you create outreach around Earth Day if you are in information technology? Can anything you work on relate to the event? If not, could your project/center make a simple graphic celebrating the day?
Finally, hook in your content to the special event. Decide on what would be most appropriate for the holiday or occasion. A blog will help if your project or center is related to the event. Social media posts can convey your interest and uniquely promote your work. Emails to your audience can engage them and directly relate to their lives. Here is an example of using social media to promote a center with a special occasion from the Marine Advanced Technology Education center, promoting World Ocean Day!
Check out the National Informal STEM Education Network's comprehensive calendar of STEM-related events for more ideas.