With just 10 weeks to go before Engineers Week 2013, you may want to clear your mind of those hundreds of good ideas swimming in your head and focus on just the essential information you need to celebrate civil engineering February 17 – 23:
- Identify a leader in your section or branch. Recruit someone passionate about educational outreach and who knows how to get things done. A savvy leader knows when to start from scratch and when to go to the pros for resources and information that will make the most of the planning time available between now and February.
- Embrace the national theme: “Celebrate Awesome”. It’s all about the celebration this year – celebrating civil engineering, celebrating educational outreach, celebrating volunteerism. Plan your activities around one, two or all three key ideas for a thematic push that will get you noticed.
- Download graphics and banners. From your very first ‘Save the Date’ announcement, to your call for volunteers, to your newsletters, flyers and programs, use ASCE’s coordinated Engineers Week graphics and national Engineers Week images to promote and customize your information.
- Order National Engineers Week Foundation poster and volunteer kits. There’s a kit for Engineers Week and another for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Comb over the information in the kits to get inspiration. (Limit: one each kit per member while supplies last.)
- Research options and select from a menu of suggested activities. ASCE has plenty of ideas to get you started. Plan events that are feasible and manageable for your location.
- Seek out partners that make your life easier. ASCE and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) are partnering this year for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Register your partnership online and you will receive help finding volunteers and plenty of free resources to make your Girl Day a success!
- Include hands-on activities in your events. Kids love them, and it makes volunteering and talking about civil engineering so much more fun! Be sure to test your activity first, and have plenty of materials on hand for the anticipated crowd.
- Order free and low cost resources online. Brochures and giveaways promote ASCE and leave both kids and parents with a powerful reminder about the benefits of a career in civil engineering.
- Recruit volunteers and treat them well. Provide training if needed. Make provisions for comfortable shifts and be flexible with job assignments. Remember to feed your volunteers, and don’t forget a special note of thanks for their participation. Building volunteers’ confidence and keeping them happy is a smart investment in building a strong educational outreach program
- Let us know about your event. Visit ASCE’s Pre-College Outreach Facebook page, like us, and tag us next time you upload a photo. Did you do something unique this year? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and you may see your event featured in ASCE News in March.
Good luck planning! What idea or tip do you think would be the most helpful for other volunteers?
Senior Manager, Pre-College Outreach