If you work in or follow the education industry, you’re likely familiar with the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). It’s become a buzzword of sorts, for good reason, as an increasing number of studies connect teaching STEM skills to students with improved critical thinking and science literacy, helping enable the next generation of innovators.
Just last month, Inside Higher Ed released its 2014 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers in conjunction with Gallup. According to the report, state support for higher ed is up 5.7 percent over last year. With new investments being made, 66% of public university provosts are planning “major allocations of new funds” to STEM fields within next year’s budget, which outpaced support for online programs, professional or pre-professional programs and arts and sciences.
While most of our education-related work serves higher ed, STEM is a unique field that touches students at every level. Phenomblue recently had the opportunity to work with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office on Click2Science, a free and professional development resource that empowers coaches and trainers, and arms frontline staff to teach STEM skills to youth. It’s important work, as many of these coaches and trainers face serious staffing and other resource limitations. The kids at these out-of-school organizations often lack access to STEM learning otherwise, which stimulates critical thinking and positions children to take the jobs of tomorrow.
The UNL Extension Office engaged Phenomblue to help craft a targeted awareness campaign aimed at engaging and educating out-of-school time providers with Click2SciencePD.org. This included a strategic teaser campaign that leveraged Click2Science’s existing communication channels (primarily email), while exploring new opportunities through social media and more grassroots tactics.
Approaching the project from a high-level strategic mindset, we developed a campaign — “The Moment It Clicks” — that pairs Click2Science’s emotional appeal with its tangible benefits. Through this campaign, we want coaches/trainers and partnering organizations to automatically associate Click2Science with STEM. And we want this idea to ‘click’: Click2Science is essential to their operations.
We created a brand manifesto that tells Click2Science’s story through video, developed messaging to compel potential partner organizations to adopt Click2Science as their main source for STEM training, produced conference and trade show branding assets and ideated many out-of-the-box strategies to build Click2Science’s brand and use.
Through our ongoing engagement with the UNL Extension Office, we’re excited for future opportunities to help Click2Science do its good work even better. For more, visit our Click2Science Work page.