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FEBRUARY 2015                                                         Keeping volunteers and partners connected          

Wichita has a new mentorship program. YMCA is seeking mentors to connect with youth from different cultures and backgrounds who have experienced poverty, crime, truancy and other social issues. Put your listening and support skills to use and grow your community connection with this new inspiring opportunity. To learn more, visit their website

This is a list of upcoming, one-day volunteer opportunities. Click the links to sign up.

Lead an activity at the SWE Engineering Expo at Century II, Feb. 21
Be a judge at the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair at Century II, March 27
Lead an activity at Spirit Aerosystems STEM Night at Southeast High (Spirit employees only), April 6 


The best gift you can give is your time, but if you would like to donate money, we can use that, too. Donations defray the costs of managing, training and equipping volunteers to do STEM mentoring. Donate online through the WSU Foundation. 
In the drop-down menu, choose "please direct my gift to" and enter STEMpact2020. 

STEMpact2020 volunteers  helped make the Spaght Multimedia Magnet Science Fair a success on Jan. 27.


Greetings partners, mentors and friends of STEMpact2020! Thank you for being a part of a city-wide initiative to find Science, Technology, Engineering and Math mentors to inspire Wichita's future STEM professionals in our schools! 


There are a lot of exciting events happening at STEMpact2020, and we are eager to share them with our growing network.


We'd like to take a moment to congratulate L'ouverture Career Exploration and Technology Magnet and Spaght Multimedia Magnet Elementary for their recent Science and Engineering Fairs on January 27th. There were STEMpact2020 mentors and partners at both events, and thanks to so much community involvement, all the spots for judges were filled.


We would also like to recognize all of the mentors who have signed up for Shocker Lego Mindstorms Robotics Competition. Thanks to all the enthusiasm for this event, we have filled all the positions for coaches and are looking forward to an exciting challenge day March 7th!


NetApp volunteers are partnering with the Girl Scouts to generate interest in STEM with girls at Jackson Elementary.  Black females currently account for only 3% of the American tech workforce. 

In each newsletter, we share tips about the value of mentoring and best practices.  This time we want to share some provocative questions raised by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the unique challenges of mentoring underrepresented students in STEM: 

 "We are the guardians of alternatives, not the guarantors of success. While scientists and engineers in the aggregate fare better in the job market relative to other professions, opportunities for some along educational pathways are accompanied by the prospect debt and discrimination. If students of color see an industry that promises riches and professional fulfillment lacking a workforce that looks like them, do they then proceed? Dare they challenge those odds? If women perceive that the STEM field they hope to join is dominated by men who doubt their "brilliance" due to their gender alone, should they be deterred or emboldened?

"This is where the talent direction becomes perilous, and perhaps ambivalent. Do advisors try to beat the odds or counsel other paths more likely to lead to success? Do programs target neophytes with no prior exposure to science based solely on their expressed predilections or focus? Do elders heed the demographic profiles of student career choices and probabilities of success or defy them?"

How mentors answer these questions can determine whether one perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophecy or transforms an industry. Read the full article here. 


Partner Spotlight
A NetApp volunteer helps a student build a micro car out of a toothbrush. 


Net App, a data management tech company that employs more than 800 in Wichita, is wrapping up their "Get Moving" Girl Scout outreach series with a lucky group of girls at Wichita's Jackson Elementary. Two awesome volunteers, Lynn Miskell and Christine Lassle, have been talking about different types of energy and engaging in hands on STEM activities with the 4th and 5th grade class. Here you can see the students building tooth brush "cars" with batteries and vibrating bristles. After a race to the finish line to see whose car was the fastest, there were celebratory dance-offs by the winners and smiles all around. A big thanks to the amazing volunteers, and to NetApp for its dedication to community outreach.  NetApp is a FORTUNE 500 company that employs over 12,000 individuals in more than 170 offices worldwide.

Opportunity Spotlight

Volunteer judges are needed for the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair, March 27th from 6-9 p.m. at Century II! A dinner and orientation will be provided beforehand, with 175+ projects to see from our future STEM professionals! Bring your colleagues to this great networking event and give back during this great one-time event. Collaborative activities such as the KSSEF continue to be extremely important to providing students opportunities that help them prepare for, and become enthusiastic about, careers in science and engineering.For more information and to sign up at our website today. 


School Spotlight
Andover Middle School
Andover Middle School has taken on an exciting new partnership with a school in Nairobi, Africa to provide them with a filtration design that can help clean their water. The project was recently featured on KAKE News. They are putting their science students into groups of 6 and having them design, build and compete to find out which prototype works best. The teachers at Andover is asking engineers to come mentor the students and be a contact person for the groups via email in order to ask ongoing questions. To find out more about this and other awesome opportunities and sign up today, visit our website.




Discover the science behind baking cookies while you perfect the ultimate batch. 

Read More 

Every kitchen is a laboratory


Make chemistry fun with your mentee by growing your own crystals. 

Read More

Learn how heating and cooling affects air pressure with this slightly messy activity.
 Read More


Get some insight into how your mentee's brain works by exploring color perception with the Stroop Effect.

Read More. 



The Society of Women Engineer hosts hands-on activties for kids at Century II from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 21. Free and open to the public.

Shocker MINDSTORMS Robotics Challenge is March 7 at WSU's Heskett Center. Free and open to the public.