Thursday, February 8, 2018

10 Awesome Ways to Volunteer in STEMRec

10 Awesome Ways to Volunteer in STEMRec

With the school year more than half over, a lot of families are asking how they can get their volunteer hours done in time. Never fear, STEMRec has got you covered; read on to find 10 awesome ways you can volunteer in STEMRec!

Contact Cindy Trueblood at cindy.trueblood@franklindiscovery.org to discuss any of the following.

  1. Sponsor a Lego Contest
Are you a Master Builder or do you want to inspire future Master Builders? If so, you should consider sponsoring a Lego contest!

Last week, a FDA family sponsored a lego challenge in STEMRec. The theme of the contest was “Things that Fly”. There were three categories in which students could win prizes for their entry: Most Creative, Funniest, and Best in Show. When the challenge was judged, our sponsoring family ended up awarding three honorable mentions, in addition to the category winners, because there were so many delightful entries they couldn’t choose just three! Our students had a blast and are already asking when we are going to offer another one.  

To sponsor a lego contest, simply come up with a theme, decide on the categories for judging, and purchase some prizes to give to the winning entries.  

   2. Teach a Lesson
Do you have a real-world skill that you could share with the students? If so, consider teaching a lesson at one of our stations!

We are looking forward to Mr. Halverson, a branch manager at Zions bank, coming into STEMRec to teach some lessons on money management. In fact, Mr. Halverson has committed to come every Wednesday for the next 5 weeks to teach the Jr. Achievement course to one of the crews. Too much of a commitment? The Social Studies station would love to have some families share about a country they are from or have a lot of experience with. They are also looking for historians or reenactors that would be willing to share their expertise. Come for a 45 minute period or stay all day; it’s up to you!

To teach a class, pick a topic you would like to teach, plan your lessons, and contact Cindy to coordinate.  

  3. Run an After-School Club
Did you know we have after-school clubs for FDA students? Do you have a fun idea for a club you could run? If so, you should consider running one of our after-school clubs!

Clubs run from 3:15 - 4:00, on Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday. This commitment would be for an entire block. Some examples of clubs that we’ve had in past blocks are: Dance Club, Chess Club, Sports Club, Art Club and Book Club. Help us expose our students to more awesome things through clubs!

To run an after-school club, choose a club focus, plan your meetings, and contact Cindy to coordinate.

     4. Be a Drop-In Station Helper
Do you need a flexible way to get hours or have a schedule that limits a scheduled commitment? If so, consider being a Drop-In Station Helper!

We are always happy to have helping hands in STEMRec manning stations and corralling kids. No notice is necessary….just drop in and stay as long as you would like! STEMRec station hours of operation are 9:15 - 2:30.

Make sure to stop at the front desk to get a visitor’s badge when you get here.

    5. Prepare Materials for a Station Master
Are you a whiz at preparing materials? Do you prefer your volunteer hours to be more “behind the scenes?” If so, you should consider preparing materials for the Station Masters!

Here’s an example: The Social Studies Station is looking for people willing to print pictures of the Civil Rights movement to include in a museum they are creating for a challenge. Volunteers are also needed to set up the museum on Saturday, February 17. From running copies to setting up challenges, this opportunity has something for everyone!

Contact Cindy for details on available prep opportunities.

    6. Prepare A Self-Directed Challenge
Are you a pinterest lover? Do you like to be creative?  If so, you should consider preparing a self-directed challenge students can complete on their own.

We are always looking for fun, informative, and interactive challenges in math, science, engineering, literacy, social studies, art, and music. Examples of previous self-directed challenges that have been successful are “Invite a Greek God to Dinner” and writing get well card for sick children the Primary Children’s Hospital

  7. Donate Needed Materials
Can’t make it to the school because you work full-time or have toddlers at home? No problem! For every $10 you donate, you can count one hour of volunteer time.

With 500 students passing through STEMRec daily, we are in constant need of consumables such as pencils, markers, crayons, paint, watercolors, paint brushes, batteries (mostly AA), masking tape, glue (all kinds), popsicle sticks and plastic bins (students are hard on these). NO donation is too small and ALL donations are appreciated and help immensely.

Want your donation to be more enduring? Buy materials that can be used again and again for years to come. Our technology station recently purchased several Raspberry Pi computers from a generous donation made to STEM Rec from an FDA family.  With these materials, students will be able to learn basic programming and electronics skills. We are always looking for fun engineering / technology materials. Our students love bionicles and K’nex, and we could certainly use more of those. What are your favorite building toys? Perhaps your donation could introduce students to new and exciting ways to look at engineering. Are you a book lover? Our Social Studies is looking for the series of books entitled,You Wouldn’t Want to Be. The possibilities are endless!

   8. Give STEMRec a deep clean
Do you have a love of all things clean? Do you adore Clorox wipes? If so, consider helping give STEMRec a deep clean!

Not super glamorous but so, so necessary; just think of all the germs going around this winter! If you’d like to organize or participate in a deep clean, this is the job for you. Cindy would be happy to meet families at the school in the evening when children are asleep.

Contact Cindy for details on this project.

    9. Organize a Service Project
Do you enjoy helping people? Do you want to inspire a new generation of helpers? If so, consider organizing a service project!

One of the most satisfying ways to unite as a school community is to serve other people.  Service provides an opportunity for students to learn a sense of responsibility for those around them. It’s empowering for them to know they are important enough to make a positive impact in the world.

Do you crochet? Knit? Sew? Woodwork? Would you be willing to teach a group of students these skills and make baby hats, blankets or toys for a local hospital? Who would like to help students get our garden ready to plant, or organize a group to plant trees that our school and neighborhood can enjoy for years to come?  What about making placemats for “meals on wheels”? Turn your passion into a project that students can be a part of.

 10. Be a Station Master Benefactor
Do you love taking care of others? If so, let us tell you a secret…..Cindy keeps a snack drawer in STEM, not for the students, but for the for the Station Masters! They work really hard, and a little bag of crackers or a breakfast bar goes a long way in helping them hang in there. Sometimes she brings in donuts or cookies, or other little things to let them know they are appreciated. They love it and it adds to the overall good feeling of our room. Feel free to bring in snacks or treats to add to our snack drawer to take care of the people who take care of your children. And we’ll let you in on another secret… a $10 snack donation counts as an hour of volunteer time!