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DiscoverE Family Day Toolkit


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Looking to get kids interested in engineering? Host a Discover Engineering Family Day at an area museum or school. This presentation will walk you through all of the steps involved.

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DiscoverE Family Day Toolkit

  1. 1. Creating a large-scale engineering outreach event in your community DiscoverE Family Day
  2. 2. It’s kids and the adults in their lives exploring engineering.
  3. 3. It’s multiple activity stations with many different hands-on engineering activities.
  4. 4. What Is DiscoverE Family Day? It’s a local effort organized by engineering volunteers and organizations.
  5. 5. It’s often held at a local museum.
  6. 6. Why Host a Family Day? You’ll give kids (and their parents) the chance to: Experience the wonders of engineering Meet real engineers, technicians and technologists Learn that engineers are smart, fun people who make the world a better place.
  7. 7. Host a Family Day in Your Area This presentation outlines how to create your own event, including: The Power of Partners Planning Committee Event Format & Volunteers Activities & Day of the Event Promotion & More
  8. 8. The Power of Partners Partners are key to developing a successful event. They can help with: Planning Hosting hands-on activities Recruiting volunteers Promotion Fundraising
  9. 9. The Power of Partners Get Started Make a list of potential partners. Be sure to include engineering and technology companies and societies. Are museums on your partner list?
  10. 10. The Power of Partners Why Museums? They make a great event venue. They are well-known in the community. Their education/outreach staff might help organize the event.
  11. 11. The Power of Partners Why Museums? They are connected to schools and after-school programs. They can help build audience. They have a pool of volunteers.
  12. 12. The Power of Partners What’s in it for Museums? They’ll: Gain new partners in engineering & technology Get new resources Bring in first-time visitors who will return later
  13. 13. The Power of Partners Contact potential partners and ask: Do you want to participate? What resources might you be able to provide? Will you serve on the planning committee? Who else should we invite to partner with us?
  14. 14. Planning Committee Hold a planning meeting and discuss: Who is the target audience? What is the age range? What does success look like? What is the budget? How long will the event last?
  15. 15. There are two ways to organize your event: Exhibitor model Committee model Event Format
  16. 16. Exhibitor model – A local group ‘owns’ an exhibit space. Event Format
  17. 17. Exhibitor model The planning committee recruits local groups to organize a exhibit area. Exhibitors: Decide the activity Recruit volunteers to staff their exhibit Provide the activity materials Set up and break it down the activity Event Format
  18. 18. Event Format Committee Model – All activities are organized by planning committee.
  19. 19. Committee Model The committee will: Select all of the activities Recruit all of the volunteers Provide all of the activity materials Set up and break it down full event Event Format
  20. 20. Secure a Venue Local museums are wonderful locations, but not the only one. Other options: Malls Universities Companies Parks Schools
  21. 21. Secure a Venue Talk to your venue, ask: Will they host the event? Can they donate the space? What other costs are involved? -Event insurance -Damage deposit -Security or event staff -Cleaning fee
  22. 22. Secure a Venue Can they assign a staff person to the planning committee? Will they provide: -Tables -Chairs -Easels -Internet access -Trash cans
  23. 23. Select a Date Target Date: Engineers Week in February Research other area events that might conflict with your event. Does the museum host a similar event? If yes, is there a way for your group to participate?
  24. 24. Hands-on Activities Engaging engineering activities are the heart of DiscoverE Family Day.
  25. 25. Tips Offer a variety of hands-on engineering activities. Select activities that match your target age group. Hands-on Activities
  26. 26. Hands-on Activities Tips Look for activities that need minimal directions. Select activities that take as little as 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
  27. 27. Hands-on Activities Find activities at
  28. 28. Calculating Supplies Each activity should be prepared for 1/3 of the total number of expected visitors. Example: 600 total visitors = 200 people per activity. Hands-on Activities
  29. 29. Signs Print colorful signs for each station. Plan how you will display the signs - Table-top stands? Easels? Use the DiscoverE Family Day logo - Download the logo at
  30. 30. Volunteers Each activity station should have at least 2 volunteers at all times. All committee members should work the event.
  31. 31. Volunteers Exhibitor model tip While exhibitors furnish their own volunteers, be prepared to supplement in cases of no-shows or under-planning.
  32. 32. Volunteers Training Volunteers Are your volunteers and exhibitors experienced in talking with children and parents? Encourage ALL volunteers to review the Volunteer Event Tips sheet found in the pdf section.
  33. 33. Volunteers Before the event, tell exhibitors & volunteers: What time to arrive and leave Where to park When and where to unload supplies Details about lunch - Is it provided? Bring your own?
  34. 34. Promoting Your Event Consider these promotional options: Television (PSA’s or ads) Radio (PSA’s or ads) Community and daily newspapers
  35. 35. Promoting Your Event Consider these promotional options: Posters and flyer in the community Partners newsletters or mailings Social Media - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram
  36. 36. Promoting Your Event DISCOVERENGINEERINGFAMILYDAYDISCOVERENGINEERING FAMILYDAY Saturday February22 10am—4:30pm FREE Create a promotional postcard See sample in pdf section of training.
  37. 37. Day of the Event Prepare the event space. Set up a welcome table. Supply with: A list or floorplan of all exhibits/activities with brief descriptions. Giveaways Information about other engineering events or programs.
  38. 38. Day of the Event Prepare the event space. Set up each Exhibitor/Activity Station in own area. Does the activity need a table or is it better facilitated on the floor? Make sure there is enough space between activities.
  39. 39. Day of the Event Prepare the event space. Cover tables with colorful cloths. Store extra supplies under the tables. Have a central check-in point for exhibitors and volunteers before the event opens to the public.
  40. 40. Day of the event Prepare informational packets for exhibitor or activity area, include: Name badges for all volunteers Badges identifying engineers Lost-child protocol Floor map, list of all activities
  41. 41. Day of the Event Directional signs Post welcome and directional signs. Display a large sign thanking and listing sponsors.
  42. 42. Day of the Event Photography Assign one or two volunteers to take pictures. Post a sign at the entrance informing visitors that photos are being taken.
  43. 43. Your Impact Collect Information It’s great for sponsors and for future planning, find out: How many visitors attended your event? What did they think about the event? See the sample exit survey in the pdf section of the training.
  44. 44. After the event Debrief with the planning committee. Consider drafting an event report. - Customize it for each sponsor.
  45. 45. After the event Send thank-you letters to: Volunteers Venue staff Head of museum or other venue acknowledging staff Exhibitors Sponsors
  46. 46. Planning Resources Go to for these resources: –DiscoverE Family Day Logo –Activities –Volunteer Event Tips –Family Day Video –Promotional postcard –Sample Exit survey
  47. 47. More Questions? Contact: Our friendly staff can answer your questions and put you in touch with volunteers in your area.