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Connect2STEM 2021: A Year to Remember

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Connect2STEM 2021 A Year to Remember

Special Events, Projects, Programs, or Campaigns - Gold

Best in Show Finalist

Connect2STEM 2021: A Year to Remember
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

During the pandemic, all in-person outreach programs at the University of Arizona Health Sciences were canceled, and our once great learning resources and career exploration and pipeline programs were closed. This included the much-anticipated annual Connect2STEM event. However, we recognized the great need to present engaging learning experiences, so our team pivoted and took Connect2STEM beyond its usual boundaries. Connect2STEM became a multifaceted program and was transformed into: a successful virtual kickoff event in January; 20+ TV live virtual sessions every Saturday morning in February, becoming the foundation for our Connect2STEM YouTube channel; a drive-thru experience in May; and a summer camp backpack giveaway program for underserved children. Ultimately, the pandemic gave us the opportunity to expand this once highly successful event and broaden its reach to the internet and to a larger, more diverse group of children. The live virtual sessions in February offered teachers and parents reliable and easy to access resources, and the programs also served as an effective way to engage our sponsors and community partners.

Connect2STEM 2021 team members

What challenge did you overcome?
There were many challenges: limited lead-in time to develop and plan, team members and support staff operating in a virtual work environment resulting in limited access to the campus and resources, and the need to recruit 100+ volunteers to staff the drive-thru.

Contact: Annemarie Medina

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