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Astro Marketing

  1. 1. STEMulate Your Mind Table of Contents Executive Summary 3 Situation Analysis 5 Budget Summary 8 Secondary Research 10 Primary Research 21 Key Findings 35 Target Audiences 40 SWOT Analysis 44 Planning Section 49 Executions 61 Timeline 118 Sources 120 2
  2. 2. STEMulate Your Mind Executive Summary 3
  3. 3. STEMulate Your Mind Executive Summary The AstroMarketing team created an integrated marketing campaign to help the Coalition for Space Exploration achieve its goals of inspiring young people to pursue STEM related aerospace industry careers and building public support for an ongoing space exploration program. However, the Coalition is battling some problems, such as the shuttle’s retirement at the end of 2010 and the fact that U.S. students are struggling in STEM education. But after extensive research we have developed a series of recommendations to help our client achieve its goals. Our research showed that many students do not know what engineers actually do and they do not realize all the different career paths that STEM can lead to. A common theme present in our research is the fact that interesting students in STEM education at a young age is imperative to cultivating a long-term interest in STEM. For example, one KU engineering student said in an informal interview, “I did an aviation youth academy and then after that I decided to go into aerospace engineering. I don’t think I would have known what engineering was if I hadn’t gone to a STEM camp.” Research also pointed to heavy Internet usage, especially on the social media site Facebook. According to our survey of space camp alumni, 78 percent of respondents said they are Facebook users. It ranked No. 1 out of 6 options on the media usage list, while Twitter ranked No. 4 with only had a 20 percent usage rate. The plan we created primarily targets students who are currently making decisions about their educational paths and the people who have the greatest influence in this decision: parents and teachers. The AstroMarketing team has identified three goals for our strategic campaign for the Coalition: • To interest students in STEM education who are not already interested • To encourage those with an existing interest in STEM to pursue aerospace careers • To increase public support for space programs and exploration The plan includes detailed tactics on how these goals will be met. One important tactic is the development of a Web site that contains STEM education information and activities for teachers and students. For example, students can go to the Web site to look up STEM activities in their area or experiment how-tos. Teachers can also go to the Web site to find new ideas for lesson plans and discuss topics in forums, which is based on research results indicating teachers did not influence students as much as the lesson plans did. This Web site touches on more than one goal and objective, unifying the Coalition’s mission. Another important tactic uses a media kit to cover the last shuttle launch to help gain public support. The end of the shuttle program is a major turning point in the aerospace industry and there needs to be more focus on getting people excited about the new era of deep space exploration. The public also needs to be aware of the implications that the shuttle’s retirement will have on future missions to the Space Station. The formation of a strategic alliance with the PTA will be one of the most instrumental tactics in our plan. This alliance will give the Coalition the benefit of reaching 25,000 PTA chapters nationwide with feature stories in the PTA monthly newsletters as well as interview podcasts distributed via the PTA radio station and Web site. The primary budget for this plan is $97,416.63. This does not include the secondary budget items outlined in our Goals document. Although Ms. Gwen Griffin capped the budget at $100,000, she gave us the opportunity to expand the budget with just cause. The team has outlined in detail where and how all money will be spent. 4
  4. 4. STEMulate Your Mind Situation Analysis 5
  5. 5. STEMulate Your Mind SITUATION ANALYSIS The Client The Coalition for Space Exploration is an advocacy group whose mission is to promote the importance of space exploration to the national agenda via cost-effective, high-yield public outreach activities that include both traditional and new media to help secure political support and budget resources for NASA and space exploration. The coalition has two goals: to inspire young people to pursue STEM-related aerospace industry careers and to build public support for an ongoing program for space exploration. The coalition has a board of 21 advisors including former astronauts Dr. Guy Bulford Jr., Crystal Bloemen a teacher committed to STEM education, and filmmaker and avid space enthusiast James Cameron to name a few. The coalition has member companies that support the coalition’s goals to continue space exploration and encourage youth to be involved in STEM education. Some member companies are also on the coalition’s government affairs team, which works to gain support for space programs in Washington D.C. Current Situation The coalition is currently operating in difficult conditions for building space exploration support. President Obama’s new budget plan has canceled NASA’s Constellation program, terminating NASA’s goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 in favor of developing new technologies that will allow unmanned missions further into space than ever before. Federal budget cuts have led to a decrease of aerospace industry jobs. Additionally, the space shuttle will retire by the end of 2010, forcing the United States to rely on other countries to reach the international space station. The United States is struggling to compete in math and science literacy. American students ranked 21st out of 30 developed countries in science literacy in 2006, and 25th out of 30 in math literacy. President Obama has launched the “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve performance in STEM education for American students. 6
  6. 6. STEMulate Your Mind (Situation Analysis Cont.) Challenges The Coalition for Space Exploration is facing several challenges, including the current economic recession. Budget cuts have terminated several of NASA’s programs and eliminated thousands of jobs. The Coalition must persuade the youth to pursue STEM careers with NASA, although the amount of available jobs is decreasing due budget cuts. A current trend is developing in STEM education in which foreign students receive their education in the United States, only to return to their home country to find a job with their new knowledge. A major challenge for the coalition is to keep this talent within our boarders to help support the growth of our space programs. A constant challenge for the Coalition is the fight for a technological edge in our country. Loosing talent individuals to foreign programs, the United States is slowly loosing its leadership in space exploration. Presently, NASA struggles to recruit engineers for their programs because they are competing with companies such as Google and Microsoft. These companies are receiving the majority of the attention from engineering students and take a number of the potential employees from NASA. The coalition must renew the interest of engineering students in pursuing a career in aerospace technology over other engineering fields. Why It’s Necessary to Take Action at This Time With President Obama’s budget cuts and the cancelation NASA’s Constellation program, the U.S. faces loosing a large number of jobs as well its leadership in space exploration. Due to inadequate funding, NASA’s space shuttle program will be shut down near the end of this year. Future plans rely on the U.S. will have to rely on other countries, such as Russia, for future astronaut transportation into space. Shutting down programs and cutting NASA’s budget will result in the termination of It is necessary for the Coalition for Space Exploration to take action at this time to restore faith in NASA’s space exploration programs and to secure the resources to continue exploration. With fewer engineers graduating and entering the workforce each year, human resources are scarce for NASA and other programs. Students’ interest in STEM related fields is steadily decreasing, threatening the operating ability of any space research or exploration programs. The Coalition for Space Exploration must take action now to promote interest and learning in STEM-related fields to students, and to draw those engineers already in the workforce into careers related to aerospace technology. 7
  7. 7. STEMulate Your Mind Budget Summary 8
  8. 8. STEMulate Your Mind Budget Summary web site $100 per year Primary Budget Television Public Service Announcement $3,000 Teacher Experiment Kits $8,000 Facebook Side Advertisement $5,000 Facebook Flash Game $ 2,240 Boys and Girls Club Scholarship $6,000 STEM Career Path Posters $ 21,376.63 STEMulate Your Mind Day kits $24,000 STEM Competition Scholarships $25,000 All Things Considered Sponsorship $2,700 GRAND TOTAL: 97,416.63 Print Advertisement (Time Magazine) $300,000 Secondary Budget Documentary (Titusville) $100,000 Additional Scholarships $100,000 GRAND TOTAL: $500,000 9
  9. 9. STEMulate Your Mind Secondary Research 10
  10. 10. STEMulate Your Mind Secondary Research Space History Werner Von Braun is the father of rocket science. Working under armed guard in Nazi Germany, he designed the V-2 Rocket and drew up plans for manned space exploration using rocket technology. After he escaped death at the hands of the Nazi soldiers, he was captured by the Allied Forces and provided them with his plans and blueprints in exchange for amnesty. Unfortunately the U.S. military only expressed interest in missile technology for military applications, so Von Braun went to Walt Disney with the case that his inventions should be used for scientific purposes, mainly to explore space, the next frontier. Disney and Von Braun collaborated on a 1955 filmstrip, called Man in Space, to pitch space exploration to the American people. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said, “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space. And none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” The race to space was one of the few positive arenas in which the U.S. and former Soviet Union competed during the Cold War. The first civilization to reach the lofty ambition of putting a human on the moon would be able to claim that its technology was superior. NASA was founded in 1958; the year after Sputnik was launched. The Soviets started out strong. They launched the first satellite in addition to sending the first probe to the moon and putting the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, in space. The turning point for the American side of the space race was the Apollo program. The Apollo program is the NASA spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on the moon. As the space program gained popularity, ten space stations were established across the country. As a result of space exploration, technology has advanced to the point of household items being able to trace their roots back to space missions. Technology resulting from space exploration includes solar energy, cordless tools, health care, GPS, sunglasses and robotics. 11
  11. 11. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) Public Opinion While the first couple decades of the space program drew much attention from the American public, it began to experience a slow decrease in popularity. Through its years, NASA has faced challenges in public perception. A 2005 poll by CBS News, conducted in August 2005, indicated that 59% of respondents thought the space shuttle program was worth continuing. This value was down from 75% in 2003 and 72% in 1999. NASA’s job rating is directly correlated to the success of their missions. According to a September 2007 Gallup poll, 56% Americans rate the job NASA is doing positively. Since 1990, only twice has NASA had less-than-majority positive evaluations after a flaw in the Hubble telescope was discovered and after a series of mishaps, including the loss of contact with the Mars Orbiter and a couple of last-second decisions to terminate planned space shuttle missions. Americans, as the following graph demonstrates. The most positive evaluation came after Senator John Glenn made his return trip to space. (According to a 2007 Gallup poll) 12
  12. 12. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) In general, older Americans are less likely to rate NASA positively than younger Americans. According to several Gallup polls conducted between 1973 and 1999, Americans are not convinced in the possibility of extraterrestrial human life existing in the universe. In a March 1999 poll, the Gallup Organization asked 535 adults if they believed there is life of some form on Mars. Slightly more than a third (35 percent) expressed optimism that there is life on Mars, while 59 percent did not believe so. Another 6 percent had no opinion. A few months later in July 1999, Gallup asked 1,061 adults if they would support or oppose a project to send astronauts to Mars. A slim majority (54 percent) opposed the plan, while 43 percent supported it. These percentages are nearly identical to results obtained when Gallup asked the same question back in 1969. STEM Education: Struggles Students in the United States are not receiving the nurturing educational setting they need to flourish in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. There is a chasm growing between the collaborative, exploratory, inquiry-based and problem-centered environments essential for nurturing these talents. Because of this, there is a need to transform our system in order to raise a generation of innovation and entrepreneurial leadership. 13
  13. 13. STEMulate Your Mind Rick Stevens of Boeing spoke up on behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association. His (Secondary Research Cont.) testimony cited a shortage of skills in the generation designated to replace the baby boomers as they retire. With this large percentage of people leaving the aerospace industry, there is a necessity to fill the void. Stevens outlined proposals to Congress for strengthening undergraduate and graduate education in the STEM fields and concluded by stressing America’s need to retain its leadership in science, technology and innovation. President Obama recognized this problem and has outlined a program that will launch this summer. The Educate to Innovate campaign for the coming year is the combination of outlined efforts from the Federal government, leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies. The initial commitment of the private sector is more than $260 million. Through the programs’ efforts, students’ STEM literacy is expected to increase, moving American students from the middle of the pack to the top. President Obama has also begun an overhaul of the controversial No Child Left Behind law, creating a grant competition to reward effective school systems. The program, “Race to the Top”, already promises to distribute billions of dollars to spur states to innovate. “Race to the Top” has been a successful catalyst in education reform thus far, helping to turn around failing schools and provide better teacher preparation to improve future teaching methods. 14
  14. 14. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) The United States has fallen behind its international competitors in education, despite International Comparison comparatively high spending. The United States is struggling to compete in math and science literacy. American students ranked 21st out of 30 developed countries in science literacy in 2006, and 25th out of 30 in math literacy. The following graph illustrates the U.S.’s international position in math education in 2007 by the National Center for Education Statistics: 15
  15. 15. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) The following graph demonstrates how despite higher than average educational spending, the United States competes internationally to have their spending make an impact on general education. (National Center for Education Statistics: graph by The Heritage Foundation) STEM Education: Programs There are several programs that currently meet the needs of lacking STEM education programs and set a standard in this area. By exploring these examples of STEM-related programs in our society, we will be able to better form programs in the future. Recently, there is an emergence of school programs to enhance children’s interest in STEM education. One example of this is seen in Southern California in a string of after-school 16
  16. 16. STEMulate Your Mind programs called THINK Together. Thanks to a generous grant from Southern California (Secondary Research Cont.) Edison, all THINK Together’s middle school sites across Southern California will now have Academy of Robotics Labs. These labs will dramatically enhance existing STEM education curriculum and provide additional hands-on enrichment activities that promote active minds and positive skills development for Southern California Middle School students. Exposure to the Robotics Lab will no doubt put some students on a path to STEM careers. Another example is seen with a program known as Junior Achievement. Through a dedicated volunteer network, they provide in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Junior Achievement, DeVry University and Career Corner Digital have partnered to create a highly engaging career exploration resource for students. The NASA Explorer Schools project is a three-year partnership between NASA and about 200 schools nationwide. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Dryden Flight Research Center are the local NASA partners for 25 schools in Southern California. The project teaches and encourages students to pursue disciplines critical to NASA’s future engineering, science and technical missions. In partnership with the Texas Business and Education Coalition, Microsoft and the state of Texas, NASA is inviting Texas high school students to participate in the blink Web design competition. The students work in small groups and are sponsored by faculty members from their school. Student participants will design and develop a Web site using Microsoft® Expression® suite of software tools, which is provided free of charge. Free learning resources are also available. The purpose of the contest is to help promote science, technology, engineering and math areas with high school students. Insight Schools is a company that is building a national network of publicly-funded online high schools. These online schools are in partnership with school districts and organizations in the local area, which are actively seeking ways to meet the needs of high- school-age children who choose an alternative approach to their high school education. This unique perspective on education has opened the door for other ways of thinking about education. 17
  17. 17. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) NASA will launch the Summer of Innovation program this summer in support of President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign. The multi-week program hopes to boost interest in STEM education among thousands of middle school students and teachers, emphasizing the importance of broadening participation of low-income, minority students. The program features design competitions, events and learning programs for both students and teachers. Sparking Kids’ Interest A unique tool that has been utilized to increase interest in STEM education is the popular children’s toy, Lego. Space has long been one of Lego’s most popular themes. Lego recently continued its line of space-themed toys after having put the line on hiatus during the prominence of the Star Wars Lego sets. Space Police 3 Lego sets became available for purchase in 2009. Lego has released multiple versions of the Millennium Falcon in varying sizes. The 5,195-piece Lego model is physically the largest Lego set sold by the company. The Explorer Schools engage in Lego robotics competitions in which student teams pit their software-enabled Lego robots against the clock. The tabletop robots need to be able to perform different tasks, such as retrieving planetary mineral formations and rescuing a stranded “moon rat,” or small robot, within two minutes. Students build and program their Lego robots over several months using laptop computers for this competition, which was designed to engage them in math, science, technology and engineering. There are many other ways Lego is used to stimulate interest in STEM education, for example, Lego conventions. The First Lego League (FLL) is a global program created to get children excited about science and technology. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is an organization dedicated to inspiring students in science, technology, engineering and math, has collaborated with NASA for robotics competitions since 1998. FLL is a hands-on program for ages 9 to 14. FLL uses real world scientific challenges to engage children in research, problem solving, and engineering. The FLL is generally held in April and is traditionally hosted in Georgia. The 2009 theme focused on transportation 18
  18. 18. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) alternatives and was titled, “Smart Move.” Robofest is a similar program, but is limited to students of a private school in Michigan. Average Weekly TV And Peripheral Consumption Among All Kids 2-5 Over 32 24hrs 1hr 4hrs 45mins 1hr 12mins Total TV DVR DVD VCR Game Console hrs 51mins 29mins 33mins Among All Kids 6-11 Over 28 22hrs 2hrs 59mins 18mins 2hrs 23mins Total TV DVR DVD VCR Game Console hrs 9mins 28mins Television would also be an effective way to get children interested in STEM education. American children ages 2-11 are watching more television than they have in years past. Findings from October 2009 from The Nielsen Company show children ages 2-5 now spend more than 32 hours a week on average in front of a TV screen. The older segment of that group (ages 6-11) spend a little less time, about 28 hours per week watching TV, due in part that they are more likely to be attending school for longer hours. Both groups spend multiple hours a week with a video game console. This study reiterates that television is a valuable source for reaching out to kids. Another way to reach children is through their teachers. A valuable source for educators is a network known as Discovery Education. The network combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Giving teachers the tools they need to motivate their students is essential. NASA Future President Obama has greatly influenced the direction NASA will take in the coming years. He has outlined a new mission for the space program, which will shift their resources away from the rocket-launching business and more towards laboratory-based research. This research will also focus on the development of futuristic vehicles capable of going beyond the moon. Along with these changes, Obama has increased NASA’s budget by 2 percent. 19
  19. 19. STEMulate Your Mind (Secondary Research Cont.) However, to cut back on costs, future NASA funding will favor the use of cheaper robotic probes as opposed to costlier manned missions. Due to the fact NASA will be shifting its attention away from a return mission to the moon, there looms a shift of power within the space industry. With NASA changing focus and not returning to the moon anytime soon, there would be more reliance on private start-up companies. Encouraging smaller rivals would be a big blow to large contractors such as Northrop and Boeing. NASA will be outsourcing the shuttling of astronauts in low-earth orbit to private companies and will shift its focus to the advancements of robots for deep-space exploration. A list of highlights from the revised budget provides a clear view of NASA spending for the next several years. 20
  20. 20. STEMulate Your Mind Primary Research 21
  21. 21. STEMulate Your Mind Primary Research Our class created a survey that was sent to former participants of the Space Camp program by the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (KCSC), and AstroMarketing then analyzed the data gathered from the survey responses. AstroMarketing attended an engineering EXPO hosted at KU, conducting ethnographic research and informal interviews with 35 middle and high school students, college engineering students and STEM education teachers. We also compiled important information from class conversations with former astronaut Steve Hawley and NASA Advisory Council member Miles O’Brien. Finally, our group conducted a focus group with seven KU engineering students. The following material is a summary of the data gathered from all primary research methods. 22
  22. 22. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) KCSC Space Camp Survey This survey was conducted March 3-13, 2010, under the auspices of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Students enrolled in JOUR 676 Strategic Communication Campaigns at the University of Kansas generated questions for the survey on behalf of its class client, the Coalition for Space Exploration. KCSC e-mailed a link to an online survey to 1,242 former Space Camp participants. Two hundred seventy-nine e-mail accounts were invalid and 411 of the e-mails were opened. The survey response rate was 8.7 percent. The majority of survey respondents were high school students (58 percent), and junior high students comprised the second most common level in school (26 percent). The following chart displays the breakdown of the level in school of the respondents. There were 40 female respondents (37 percent) and 68 male respondents (63 percent). Though this sample is not an accurate representation of all high school or junior high students as it represents only students who were inclined to attend a space camp program, it does give insight into three main areas of those students: educational areas of interest and influence, aerospace interest and media activities and interests. 23
  23. 23. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Education - Areas of Interest Because all respondents attended Space Camp, it is logical that the majority of respondents are interested in math and science. Eighty-four percent of respondents either agreed (43 percent) or strongly agreed (41 percent) with the statement “I like math,” while 98 percent of respondents agreed (29 percent) or strongly agreed (69 percent) with the statement “I like science.” This shows that the large majority of respondents are scientifically inclined. These students would be a likely target of campaigns designed to draw more technological resources to NASA or other space organizations. Education - Influencers The responses showed that 79 percent of surveyed students agreed (44 percent) or strongly agreed (35 percent) that their parents influenced their interests in school. This demonstrates that parents are powerful influencers in their children’s scholastic interests and can be targeted in campaigns for increasing STEM-related interest as an intervening audience, or one that has the power to influence the target audience, which is students. 24
  24. 24. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) While parents were strong influencers in educational interests, responses to the level of influence friends had on interests were extremely varied, averaging almost neutral. The following chart shows the results of the question: These results suggest that friends do not have as much influence in students’ interests as parents, meaning they would not be a very productive audience to target. Aerospace The surveyed students’ responses state that 97 percent are interested in space exploration. The responses also show that 94 percent admire astronauts. As this was not a representative sample of every student who has attended space camp, it does not serve as an indicator of overall opinion. While this data shows only the responses of students who have attended Space Camp, it does show that these students have already formed positive opinions about space and space exploration and would be profitable targets for NASA recruitment. 25
  25. 25. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Media Interests - Internet The most-used medium by survey respondents is the Internet. Respondents were given a list of the following media: television, computer (Internet use), computer (non-Internet use), magazines, movies, newspapers, radio, and smart-phones with Internet applications. The computer with Internet use ranked in the top 3 most-used media of 104 respondents, or 98 percent, and in the top 2 of 97 respondents, or 92 percent. This indicates that the Internet is a potentially strong tool to utilize in reaching junior high and high school students. More specific to the Internet, many students are using social network sites such as Facebook (78 percent of respondents), which can also be an increasingly useful tool in reaching students of all ages. Only 11 respondents (10 percent) selected Twitter as a social media site to which they belong, indicating that it would not be a successful site as a means of reaching this audience. The survey results also showed that print media are not commonly used among respondents. Newspapers appeared in the top three most-used media in only 9 percent of responses from the students, and magazines appeared in the top three in only 10 percent of responses. Media Interestes - Television Television is also a frequently used medium among respondents. The most popular channel viewed is the Discovery Channel. Eighty-one percent of respondents either selected the channel as one they watch regularly or watch occasionally, while 18 percent said they never watch it. The second most commonly viewed channel is the History Channel, capturing 78 percent of respondents regularly or occasionally. These responses offer insight into the interests and activities of students who are already STEM-inclined and do not necessarily reflect the interest of those who are not interested in STEM-related subjects. 26
  26. 26. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Engineering EXPO The University of Kansas’ School of Engineering conducts an annual Engineering EXPO during the second semester of every year. This EXPO is aimed at youth of all ages and its goal is to motivate them to pursue STEM education careers. The EXPO features different STEM-related activities that help youth learn about the wide world of science and engineering. Through conducting informal interviews AstroMarketing gained valuable insights into the minds of youth between the ages of 10 and 18, as well as insights from current KU engineering students. It is important to remember most kids in attendance at the EXPO attended because it was part of a class trip or project. Middle and High School Students The event was generally the only exposure the students had to engineering and the main outlet for them to put their science learning to use. Most had heard of engineering either through parents working in the field or from classrooms being solicited to join clubs or other science and engineering-related classes. Students’ interests were extremely varied and ranged from playing sports and attending parties, to watching television programs such as Saturday Night Live and Mythbusters. Most said they would consider a major or career in engineering and would be open to working in the aerospace industry, though they also seemed wary of the work involved. The general consensus among the students was they were interested in math and science (more than other subjects) and liked to do hands-on projects. KU Engineering Students The KU engineering students we talked to were almost all exposed to engineering and STEM-related activities at an early age, which sparked their interest. Many first learned what engineering was or got excited about engineering when they attended the EXPO as middle and high school students. They were always interested in engineering-related things, such as building with LEGOs, problem solving and taking things apart to understand how they work, but never knew how to apply their interests until introduced to engineering at school. 27
  27. 27. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) William Blake, a NASA researcher, attended and shared how he thought kids like to have fun, and it is important to show the overlap with engineering. He built an arcade game that the students played on and Blake explained to the students how the arcade game was built using different elements of engineering. “Kids like to have fun and they are attracted to fun things. Engineering and fun are not mutually exclusive and there is a lot of overlap. I built a video game and I like to point out to the kids that this is a combination of electrical engineering and computer science,” (William Blake). All the university students stressed the importance of catching students’ interest early on, and involving them in activities like the EXPO to help make them aware of the possibilities and applications of math and science. Ethnographic Research While at the EXPO we took some time to view our surroundings and watch the way the youth interacted with each other and the types of things to which they were drawn to. It was clear that almost all the youth were attracted to computer and video games over all the other activities. We also noticed that when the youth were playing video and computer games they were not talking to each other or interacting with each other, but rather were in their own game worlds. However, when the youth stepped away from their video games they all flocked back to groups of friends. Video and computer games are taking the interaction away from people, but they are getting a different kind of interaction, a virtual one. Many of the kids said they and their friends thought math and science was cool, but current trends in the U.S. show school age children are suffering in these areas. It is important to remember that people do not always do what they say, but they always do what they do. 28
  28. 28. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) • “I first decided I wanted to be an engineer my junior year in high school. I came to the Quotes from EXPO Participants KU engineering EXPO and that’s what got me interested. I had no idea what engineering even was until I came to the information session.” (KU Engineering Student, female) • “I think in the middle of high school was when I really was thinking about what I wanted to do in college.” (KU Engineering Student, female) • “I probably knew about middle school that I wanted to go into engineering.” (KU Engineering Student, male) • “When I was in high school I didn’t even realize all that engineering entailed and I didn’t even think about it or think about it being cool. Now I definitely think it is cool.” (KU Engineering Student, female) • “I thought about being an astronaut when I was little, but it seems impossible now.” (Wyandotte High School student, male) • “In eighth grade there was a class about technology and engineering that got us all interested in engineering stuff.” (Wyandotte High School students, male and female answered) • “I was part of an engineering program at my high school called Engineering Systems. The point of the program was to get kids interested in engineering. That program got me really interested in it. I decided to take the class because they came to my middle school to get kids excited about taking the class.” (The program took place at Olathe Northwest in Shawnee Mission, Kan.) (KU engineering student, male) • “A lot of people get scared away from engineering because they don’t exactly know what it is. People are also scared of the math. I think it would be a good way to show kids where math applies in different engineering situations.” (KU engineering student, male) • “It is important to be a problem solver if you want to be an engineer. The hard math and science will come later. If students don’t develop those skills, you are like a craftsman with a needle that doesn’t know what to do.” (William Blake, NASA fellow) “My dad is an engineer so I have grown up around it. My dad has always gotten me interested in this kind of stuff.” (Seventh grade student, female) • • “I like doing hands-on activities and math.” (Freshman, male) • “I think it would be fun to be an astronaut, but I don’t know if I would want to do all the training.” (Sophomore, female) • “I think most kids just say they don’t like math because they don’t feel like doing the work.” (Sophomore, female) • “I came to the KU engineering EXPO when I was young and it really helped to pique my interest, I also went to space camp in Hutchison, Kan.” (Anthony Fry, KU Engineering student) • “I did an aviation youth academy and then after that I decided to go into aerospace engineering. I don’t think I would have known what engineering was if I hadn’t gone to a STEM camp.” (KU engineering student, female) 29
  29. 29. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Insights from Miles O’Brien Miles O’Brien is a broadcast news journalist specializing in aviation, space and technology. He was a correspondent for 16 years at CNN. He is currently a member of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) as the Chairman of the Education and Outreach Committee. The following insights are all pulled from a Two criticisms of the current educational model are that “nerds” are not held in high lecture he presented to the class. regard and natural inquisitiveness is being replaced with a rigid curriculum. Students with an aptitude for STEM career paths should be encouraged. Our nation does not put smart people on a pedestal. There is a gap in public perception between what people think NASA is doing versus what it is actually doing. NASA could benefit from a spokesperson to draw the distinction between the two and explain complicated research to the public in layman’s terms. O’Brien believes that Hollywood’s vision of space exploration sets the bar too high for NASA because the discoveries in real life don’t measure up to the epic proportions of Hollywood. Back in the 1960’s, Americans dreamed that the U.S.’s technology would be more advanced by 2010 and that is not the reality. The Jetsons and 2001: A Space Odyssey both represented the optimism our nation once had about the future of humanity in space. According to Miles O’Brien, Franklin Chang-Díaz, engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut, would make a good representative for NASA because people are looking for someone to hold accountable for the billions of tax dollars spent on research. Díaz is working on a plasma rocket propulsion system (VASIMR), which will make planetary exploration easier because humans will be less dependent on gravity. According to the Ad Astra Rocket Company’s Web site, “VASIMR represents the future of translunar and interplanetary transportation as well as propulsion within Earth orbit. It has superb efficiency compared to a conventional chemical rocket and it has the capacity to double the payload mass for lunar delivery and cuts the transit time to Mars in half. Its robust design allows much greater power levels than existing electric propulsion systems and promises longer lifetimes.” Another space race is not a viable option. The two most significant motivators in the history of humanity have been greed and fear. While the idea of the Chinese flag on the moon is scary, the Cold War is over. It should not take a space war to inspire the U.S. to explore space. The U.S. should turn to the private sector and allow for entrepreneurship. 30
  30. 30. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Insights from Steve Hawley Steve Hawley is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. Formerly, he was an astronaut with a total of 770 hours and 27 minutes logged in five space flights. Dr. Hawley was asked how he became interested in space exploration and his answer was interesting as it revealed a good deal of psychographic information. He traced his interest in space exploration back to his grandfather, who was a professor of physics. What interested Hawley was exploring the universe and putting together the pieces of a puzzle. He wanted to figure out something that no one had figured out before. The appeal of a NASA career was not only figuring out how to explore space but actually doing it as well. Hawley also expressed his concern that most of the American public wants to explore Mars more than the Moon. The Moon is only two days away from Earth whereas Mars is a nine-month journey. The lessons for colonizing Mars, such as deriving resources from the environment, should be learned on the Moon first in Hawley’s opinion. 31
  31. 31. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) Focus Group With Engineering Students AstroMarketing conducted a focus group with seven engineering students to determine why they chose to pursue a STEM education field and how they were influenced to do so. The following graphs represent the demographic information about our participants. 32
  32. 32. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) All of the respondents were in agreement about how their interest in math or science may have developed much earlier than middle school, but it was hands-on experiments in sixth or seventh grade that really piqued their interest in science or math as a problem-solving technique. While none of them noted a single field trip that had a big impact on their education, several attended to camps that did. Many attended the University of Kansas’ pre-engineering camp as a junior or senior in high school to help them decide on which concentration within the School of Engineering to focus. The importance of teachers in the students’ choice of career was minimal. None of the participants had a mentor teacher, it was rather the lesson plans of the teacher that influenced their decision. They remember doing experiments and dissections as influential, as well as outside clubs with teacher sponsors, such as Science Olympiads. The most influential people in their lives were their parents. Several participants were heavily encouraged by their parents to study engineering, either because their parents were in a related field or they appreciated the job security and pay of an engineering job. All of the participants agreed that they stumbled into engineering without knowing much about it, and continued on towards graduation. The engineering students provided a unique perspective of their views of STEM education as well as their personal experiences with it. All participants agree they were not adequately prepared for math and science classes upon arrival to the university. One participant attended a high school in western Kansas in which pre-calculus was the highest level of math available. She was left feeling completely unprepared for her first calculus classes in college. They agree that their secondary math classes could have been much more challenging as well. The participants stressed the fact that engineering was never presented to them as an option in high school as a career, and they would have liked to have known more. Engineering is more than math and science, it also requires creative thinking and the ability to build and test things. The engineering program is very hands-on, with little emphasis on sitting down and writing papers. The participants think most people believe they are not 33
  33. 33. STEMulate Your Mind (Primary Research Cont.) smart enough to be an engineer, but the engineers disagree, saying, many people are smart enough, but they do not pursue it because they are intimidated by the coursework. The participants plan on doing a variety of things with their engineering degrees after graduation. Several of the participants have applied to law or medical school. They discussed other uncommon careers for engineering majors such as building rock climbing walls, designing roller coasters, and developing mascara for makeup companies. 34
  34. 34. STEMulate Your Mind Key Findings 35
  35. 35. STEMulate Your Mind Key Findings Primary and secondary research conducted by AstroMarketing for the Coalition for Space Exploration revealed several significant findings and common themes. We conducted an online survey, a focus group and informal interviews at the University of Kansas Engineering Expo, which reinforced key concepts derived from secondary research. Reoccurring themes in both primary and secondary research include strong parental influence in STEM education participation and a need for math and science education reforms. Additionally, the public’s perception of NASA is positive, however the American public doesn’t understand what research is being conducted and how it benefits them, creating problems for NASA to gain support and resources for its programs. Public Perception of NASA American interest in space exploration has been steadily declining. Through secondary research, we found the rise and fall of public opinion appears to be directly correlated to NASA’s prominent successful missions and unplanned mishaps. Miles O’Brien, a CNN correspondent for NASA, affirms this secondary research finding in saying, “There is a gap in public perception between what people think NASA is doing versus what it is actually doing.” While NASA may receive media attention, people are unaware of its goals. For instance, recent budget cuts affecting NASA have eliminated anticipated programs such as Constellation. While the media has focused on the end of the program, many people fail to realize this is not the end of space exploration. Ending programs generates incorrect perceptions when it should create buzz around the shift to the emphasis on deep space exploration. Instead of costly manned missions to previously investigated destinations, resources can now be reallocated to the development of deep space probes to reach unexplored regions of space. While a misinformed public’s perception can be skewed, a lack of information reduces their knowledge of job possibilities. STEM-related fields are drawing attention away from space exploration. A focus group conducted by AstroMarketing explored the opinions of current engineering students, revealing that while some wanted to be astronauts at a young age, they did not realize that space exploration was a viable option in their fields. They are not 36
  36. 36. STEMulate Your Mind (Key Findings Cont.) interested in working for NASA after graduation. Rather they are pursuing careers with private companies or continuing their education. Education Reforms Despite comparatively high spending, the United States is falling behind its international competitors in STEM education. Students from the United States ranked 21st out of 30 developed countries in science literacy in 2006, and 25th out of 30 in math literacy. Participants in AstroMarketing’s focus group shared a similar feeling; primary and secondary schools left them under-prepared for their college curriculum. The participants felt as though the mathematics courses in high school were not challenging enough. The United States is slowly losing its leadership in the science and technology fields, and without qualified individuals to replace current workers, the trend is expected to increase. The U.S. government has recognized this problem and the Obama administration is in the midst of overhauling the controversial No Child Left Behind law and moving toward a program called, “Race to the Top,” which will reward effective school systems with grant money. The Educate to Innovate program, which will launch in Summer 2010, is an effort of the U.S. federal government in conjunction with various companies, foundations, non-profit organizations and science and engineering societies. The private sector has already contributed more than $260 million to the Educate To Innovate program in order to revitalize STEM literacy. Building STEM Interests Recently, there has been a wave of school programs aimed at encouraging interest in STEM education. Insight Schools and Junior Achievement programs tend to focus more on changing perceptions about learning, and engaging in career exploration. THINK Together developed out of after school programs, before receiving a generous grant from Southern California Edison, which allows middle school students access to Academy of Robotics Labs. NASA Explorer Schools engage in robotics competitions similar to the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League. 37
  37. 37. STEMulate Your Mind (Key Findings Cont.) All members of the focus group had hands-on experience in a STEM related activity between 6th or 7th grade. Hands-on programs are more likely to inspire the target audience to pursue a STEM career than television or any other medium. Events such as the Lego League and school programs, as well as parental influence, are several ways to get the target audience involved. Directly targeting children using marketing tactics is another useful tool to increase awareness of STEM careers and activities. High school and junior high students can be reached in a variety of ways. The focus group participants seemed to have been primarily influenced by their parents to pursue a STEM-related career. A former astronaut at the University of Kansas, Steve Hawley, commented on his grandfather’s influence to pursue physics and astronomy. Media Usage AstroMarketing’s online survey shows the target market’s most used medium was predominantly Internet usage, followed closely by television. Survey respondents also attributed television, videos games and movies as motivation for pursuing STEM education and/or an aerospace career. While the results of the AstroMarketing focus group revealed that parents are key influencers in students’ interest in STEM education, educators remain a solid point of contact in promoting science careers. Discovery Education, a network for educators, provides a combination of scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community to help provide teachers with the tools to motive students. Secondary key findings from the Nielson Company show American children 2 to 11 years old watch more television than they have in years past. The October 2009 study showed children ages 6 to 11 years old spend about 28 hours per week watching television and multiple hours per week on a gaming console of some type. Movies and television help shape children’s perception of subjects like space exploration. These media tend to portray space exploration in a way that make the real NASA seem like an unattainable dream job to America’s impressionable youth. This discrepancy provides a 38
  38. 38. STEMulate Your Mind (Key Findings Cont.) point of improvement, in which media efforts could evolve to accurately portray NASA. As far as social media is concerned, our survey research reveals that members of the target demographic (students) are primarily using facebook. Most students use facebook to keep in touch with their social network or play flashgames such as Mafia Wars and Farmville. Capturing a student’s interest in STEM subjects using facebook as the medium would be a gamble because most students wouldn’t make life decisions based on something they read on facebook. The way people use social media is always changing and it’s a good idea to use social media to let students know what career paths are out there, but students need to be engaged by teachers and parents. 39
  39. 39. STEMulate Your Mind Target Audiences 40
  40. 40. STEMulate Your Mind Target Audiences Primary The publics being directly targeted Middle school students: We are targeting middle school students because their interest in STEM-related subjects is crucial to the future success of space exploration programs. Our research shows that U.S. middle school students are currently behind other developed countries in math and science literacy rankings. Middle school students are also not being adequately exposed to STEM programs that would encourage their interest in science and math subjects, increase their awareness of technological education paths and strengthen their desire to pursue aerospace careers. • Key Message: Middle school students should work hard in math and science class in order to achieve a rewarding career and a good life. Students with an interest in STEM-related fields: Students in this group are ages 16-19 and include both college-bound and new college students. They have displayed an interest in STEM education, but have yet to declare a college major. Through their existing interest in STEM education, they are more likely to pursue STEM-related programs and eventually seek a career in the aerospace industry. • Key Message: Students with a preexisting interest in STEM education should pursue a career in aerospace technology because it’s something they enjoy doing and it will benefit them. Technology-age young adults: Members of this target are vital to reach because they are old enough to have children in the primary target audience or be working in the education sector. This group was around to see technology flourish with the advent of the Internet age and Web 2.0. Space technology such as GPS and smart phones are part of their everyday lives. They tend to take technology for granted even when it plays a role in their everyday lives. • Key Message: Technology-age young adults should increase their awareness in STEM subjects and aerospace technology because it affects their daily life and their future. 41
  41. 41. STEMulate Your Mind (Target Audiences Cont.) Secondary Not the direct target audience, yet it is still important to maintain good relationships with these publics. Baby Boomer Adults: Members of this group were born between 1946 and 1964. They were alive for the first man landing on the moon and the launching of the first space shuttle. These adults still remember when space was intriguing, astronauts were inspiring and the nation was excited about space exploration. However, space exploration is not top of mind for them anymore, as they focus on issues in the news that affect them directly. They value education and have sent their children to college. While they still have great respect for space exploration, they are in need of a reminder that it still exists and requires their support. • Key Message: Baby-Boomer adults should support the aerospace industry because it will provide their children’s generation with rewarding jobs and the technological benefits will help them lead longer, healthier lives. Intervening The publics being indirectly targeted that have great influence over the primary target Parents of pre-college youth: Members of this target are parents of school-aged children that have not yet left for college. They have a vested interest in ensuring a successful future for their children. Our research shows that parents are one of the most important influences in the educational interests of youth, and that by targeting them, we can gain their support in encouraging participation in STEM activities and education paths. • Key Message: Parents of pre-college youth should encourage their children’s interest in STEM education if they want their children to have successful careers and meaningful lives. STEM middle school teachers: Members of this target include middle school teachers of subjects relating to science, technology, math or engineering. Teachers at this grade level have tremendous influence on whether their students will continue to study STEM subjects. If they have interactive lesson plans they can directly influence a student’s enthusiasm about pursuing STEM career options. • Key Message: STEM middle school teachers should do everything they can to enhance their students interest in STEM-related fields because success for the student will provide benefits for the teacher in the future. 42
  42. 42. STEMulate Your Mind News Media: The news media decide the topics of conversation for the day and has the (Target Audiences Cont.) ability to shape public perception. • Key Message: The news media should shed light on the advances in space exploration because these stories have relevance and affect the everyday lives of their audience. The entertainment media: The entertainment media are a powerful and influential force in the daily lives of the primary target audiences. They have the ability to shape and change public perception and inspire the target audiences. In the past, the entertainment media have depicted the future vision of space exploration as being much further advanced by the 21st century, which leaves its audience members slightly disillusioned. The entertainment media selects our cultural heroes and smart people are not traditionally among them. • Key Message: The entertainment media should increase the presence of the aerospace industry in its various media because it is a fascinating subject for the American people with endless possibilities for stories that will earn them money. Special Special publics are publics you want to maintain a good relationship with but who do not directly help achieve the goal Youth organization leaders: This target includes leaders of groups such as The Boys and Girls Club of America and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. They have interaction with members of the primary audience and serve as key influencers in their decisions to possibly pursue a STEM-related career. • Key Message: Youth organization leaders should encourage an interest in STEM education because through their interaction with the primary audience, their support has a tremendous effect on the children’s future decisions. 43
  43. 43. STEMulate Your Mind SWOT Analysis 44
  44. 44. STEMulate Your Mind SWOT Analysis Description: A SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method used to create a situation forecast and monitor the internal and external factors that influence the client to help it make informed decisions. Information gathered from primary and secondary research is used to determine the factors that influence in an organization’s situation1 • Strengths: Internal-positive; these are factors in which the Coalition is successful. • Weaknesses: Internal-negative; these are factors in which the Coalition could improve. • Opportunities: External-positive; these are helpful factors in the Coalition’s environment. • Threats: External-negative; these are factors which could be harmful to the Coalition. Internal and external factors can coincide, for example, an external opportunity can be taken advantage of to eliminate an internal weakness within an organization. A grid is divided into a four quadrants, which allows clear organization of information to evaluate all the factors that affect the situation. Then the team can properly organize this information in hopes that a solution or plan of action will emerge from different factors. Strengths NASA has a long and successful aerospace history that was jump started during the Cold War. The U.S. was the first nation to walk on the moon and has been successfully advancing its space program ever since. America’s fast-paced society thrives on advancements in technology that space exploration helps make possible, resulting in both the need and by- product of research. Some of the products that have been developed in space included: cordless tools, weather tracking devices and G.P.S’s. Space has given way to health care advances and as well as fire and safety advances . Strong STEM education programs in U.S. universities and colleges provide high-quality degrees to engineers, mathematicians, physicists and astronomers. Given the current economic recession candidates are attracted to more lucrative jobs offered in STEM-related fields. 45
  45. 45. STEMulate Your Mind (SWOT Analysis Cont.) Weaknesses President Obama’s recent budget cuts have downsized NASA’s efforts in space exploration and have eliminated programs such as the Constellation Program (NASA plan to revisit the moon), creating poor publicity. NASA is faced with the fact that there is decreased public interest in aerospace industries and it is harder today than ever before to get people excited about space. This could be due to the fact that the U.S. is facing a severe economic downturn and people are more worried about increasing the amount of jobs at home as well as keeping tax money literally on the ground. Hollywood’s depiction of space exploration is misleading and ultimately disappoints the public when compared to the reality of the situation. Coupled with the difficulty of pursuing an aerospace career and competing technical career paths, it is increasingly difficult to attract individuals to aerospace careers. Another factor that the U.S. is faced with is the increased number of foreign nationals who are educated in STEM related fields at U.S. universities, but then return to their home countries to work. Opportunities The “green movement” owes credit to NASA for advancements in solar energy and recycling programs. Continued space exploration research could increase solar energy and energy efficiency technology, promoting green movement efforts. Due to the cancellation of the Constellation Program, funding and resources will be redistributed to deep space exploration. This will create a new direction for NASA and will offer the public a more exciting perspective. Space exploration is experiencing another shift as well. While space exploration has remained predominantly in the public sector, some tasks are being outsourced to private sectors. Cooperation between public and private sectors could bring in more resources because private sectors have the ability to market, while public sectors do not. The Obama administration has created the Educate to innovate program which will launch in summer 2010. This program is expected to increase interests in STEM fields among America’s students. While a general lack of public knowledge may be viewed as a negative 46
  46. 46. STEMulate Your Mind (SWOT Analysis Cont.) factor the coalition could use this as an opportunity to reframe the discussion about space exploration. Threats Outsourcing space exploration puts the public sector at risk of loosing control of the industry to the private sector. United State’s space exploration also faces competition from other technologically advanced countries, such as China and Russia, which threatens the U.S.’s longtime leadership in space exploration. Currently, there is a shortage of prospective employees and with baby boomers starting to retire the U.S. could face a lack of potential astronauts and aerospace engineers. Along with the baby boomers the U.S. space shuttle is also retiring at the end of 2010, with no budget planned to build a new one. This will create the need for the U.S. to partner up with other countries for rides to the space station and will also create bad PR for the already struggling aerospace industry. NASA also continues to compete with other technology fields to obtain employees and with the budget cuts and the space shuttle retiring this could persuade prospective employees to choose other career paths. Conclusions The outsourcing of space exploration to the private sector is both a threat and an opportunity. The private sector can do things that NASA is not allowed to do, such as advertise to generate revenue to fund further space exploration; however NASA will no longer have complete control over the aerospace industry. The focus of the Educate to Innovate campaign is to inspire future generations to pursue STEM related paths of education. This campaign is expected to increase STEM literacy as it is implemented. By taking advantage of this opportunity, the Coalition can decrease its own weaknesses. Although the elimination of the space shuttle and the cancelation of the Constellation Program are weaknesses, an opportunity arises because the focus and funding is shifted to deep space exploration. New technologies will be needed to reach unexplored parts of 47
  47. 47. STEMulate Your Mind (SWOT Analysis Cont.) the universe, which will create a bigger public interest in something NASA has never done before. It is easier and more economic to send an unmanned probe into space. Competition with other countries may be a threat, but it puts pressure on the United States to ensure the success of programs such as Educate to Innovate. Federal programs may persuade state legislature to follow suit and to supplement this, as well as appropriate more funds towards education. SWOT Grid 48
  48. 48. STEMulate Your Mind Planning Section 49
  49. 49. STEMulate Your Mind Planning Section Goal #1: To increase student interest in STEM-related subjects Objective #1: Provide information for parents that would allow them to communicate the importance of STEM to their children Tactic #1: Create a Web site for parents Brief Description: Create a Web site to promote STEM education that includes three sections. In the first section, parents can access information about the benefits of STEM education. The Web site will include lists of all the jobs science and math can help their children attain, videos and recipes for Do-It-Yourself home experiments, and information about science camps and organizations listed by state. It will be called Target Audience: Parents of pre-college age youth Timetable: June 2010 Cost: $100 for a hosting package including domain names for all three sections. The package lasts for a year and does not include the cost of site maintenance or design. The Coalition already has a social media manager to update the Web site Tactic #2: Form a strategic alliance with the Parent-Teacher Association Brief Description: Forming a strategic alliance with the PTA would allow the Coalition and its focus of STEM education topics to be featured in articles in the national newsletter, post podcasts with interviews of Coalition spokespeople and be able to post links supporting STEM education on the PTA Web site. Target Audience: Parents of pre-college youth Timeline: September 2010 Cost: Free 50
  50. 50. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #3: Run a national Public Service Announcement (Planning Section Cont.) Brief Description: Brief Description: Create a television PSA replicating the “talk to your kids about drugs” ads. The PSA would have a serious tone in which the parent would initiate a conversation with their child. They would go on to express how science and math would open up a lot of opportunities for them. The call to action would be to parents to talk to your kids about science, technology, engineering and math. Target Audience: Parents of pre-college youth Timeline: June 2010 Cost: $3,000 for production cost of PSA, or free with Coalition contacts Objective #2: Help teachers to engage students in STEM learning Tactic #1: Create a Web site for teachers Brief Description: Create a Web site to promote STEM education that includes three sections. In the second section, teachers can access information about how to make STEM education engaging. The Web site will include sample lesson plans, videos of experiments and a discussion forum. Target Audience: Middle school teachers Timeline: June 2010 Cost: (See goal one, objective one, tactic one) Tactic #2: Distribute teacher experiment kits Brief Description: Create and distribute experiment kits to middle school teachers. The purpose of the kits will be for teachers to perform the experiment for their classes. The kits will consist of enough materials for one experiment, however a list will be included detailing what is needed to recreate the experiment. Teachers will order kits on the teacher Web site. The Coalition will cover the cost of the kits. Target Audience: Middle School teachers Timeline: August 2010 Cost: $8 (includes price of kit and shipping) X 1,000 teachers (estimated number of requests)= $8,000 51
  51. 51. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #3: Send a digital media kit to American Teacher (Planning Section Cont.) Brief Description: Send media kits in the hopes of having an article in American Teacher. The purpose of the article would be to increase awareness among teachers of the importance of engaging students in STEM activities as well as informing them on the current state of STEM education in the U.S. The kit will also be focused on National STEMulate Your Mind Day. Target Audience: Middle school teachers Timeline: October 2010 Cost: Free Objective #3: Create awareness surrounding STEM-related careers and activities Tactic #1: Create a partnership with Popular Science online Brief Description: Create a partnership with Popular Science to utilize their experiment videos to include on the teacher and student Web site to engage students and teachers with hands-on STEM activities. This would initiate an exchange of advertisement space, allowing both Web sites to advertise on the other’s site. Target Audience: Middle school students and teachers Timeline: July 2010 Cost: Free Tactic #2: Utilize a spokesperson to promote STEM education Brief Description: Use the spokesperson you are currently negotiating with. Alternately, if that individual does not meet the needs of this campaign, use a pop culture celebrity, such as Disney’s iCarly actress, Miranda Cosgrove, or the stars of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, to promote STEM activities and competitions. Spokesperson could be utilized in a variety of ways such as: featured in the PSAs, print ads, podcasts, interviews or any other communication efforts. Target Audience: Middle school students Timeline: June 2010 Cost: Dependent on Coalition’s contract with spokesperson 52
  52. 52. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #3: Facebook Side Advertisement (Planning Section Cont.) Brief Description: Create a pay-per-click advertisement using Facebook’s targeting software. The ad should direct targeted individuals to the student/teacher Web site. Target Audience: Middle school students Timeline: July 2010 Cost: Blind bid of approximately $5,000 Tactic #4: Flash Game Brief Description: Create a simple flash-based videogame that can be shared and played between Facebook users via wall posts and invitations. The game could resemble a Sims or Farmville style videogame. Target Audience: Middle school students Timeline: October 2010 Cost: $2,240 (estimated at $20 per hour for labor). A single programmer can develop the game in one week; costs include one week of programming one week of software quality assurance. This covers cost of creation, but not placement. Tactic #5: Scholarships to space camp for underprivileged youth Brief Description: Award 20 scholarships to members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to a space camp program nearest to them. The scholarships would be awarded based on essay response to questions distributed to Boys and Girls Clubs. Target Audience: Middle school students, youth organization leaders Timeline: December 2010 Cost: $300 scholarship towards camp tuition x 20 scholarships = $6,000 53
  53. 53. STEMulate Your Mind (Planning Section Cont.) Goal #2: To encourage students with an existing interest in STEM to pursue aerospace careers Objective #1: Address misconceptions about aerospace careers Tactic #1: Visual representation of STEM career paths Brief description: In order to inform student of the nearly limitless career options available in STEM-related fields, this visual will resemble a tree, with each new branch and leaf representing the various career fields and professions made possible by an education in STEM. The visual will be created into a poster and distributed to schools for use in classrooms. Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: August 2010 Cost: Cost: $21,376.63 for 96,000 posters (17x24 full color gloss on lightweight paper). Tactic #2: Have college students visit high schools to inform students about STEM majors Brief description: Set up a program to allow volunteer college students to visit high school classrooms and get younger students excited about STEM by doing a variety of activities, including perform experiments and answer questions about STEM educational paths. Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: 2010-2011 school year Cost: Free 54
  54. 54. STEMulate Your Mind Objective #2: Increase awareness of STEM-related careers (Planning Section Cont.) Tactic #1: National STEMulate Your Mind Day- Celebrate Science Brief description: Similar to the national “Read Across America Day,” we plan to join forces with schools around the country and the Department of Education to create a day that educates and informs students about the importance of STEM education. The day will be held annually and information packets will be distributed to school districts to educate schools on how to have a successful “STEMulate Your Mind Day” Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: February 2011 Cost: Price per information kit $1.60 (price per information kit) x 15,000 (approximate number of school districts in the United States) = $24,000 Tactic #2: PSA telling parents about how to get their kids involved in STEM Brief Description: (See Goal one, objective one, tactic three) Tactic #3: Create video campaign communicating different STEM jobs with the theme, Think outside the beaker Brief description: The campaign would focus on highlighting lesser- known exciting careers available for those who major in STEM subjects, such as roller coaster architect and makeup engineer. It would include video interviews with STEM professionals with these unique jobs. The videos would be posted on, the Coalition’s web site and on YouTube. Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: September 2010 Cost: Free using Coalition’s resources 55
  55. 55. STEMulate Your Mind Objective #3: Provide students with tools to enhance their STEM knowledge (Planning Section Cont.) Tactic #1: Space publication for schools Brief Description: Create a monthly e-publication about STEM education that will target upper elementary and middle school students. The publication will have articles about the current events in STEM along with hands-on experiment descriptions. Teachers will be able to order this supplement online. It is suggested that there be a small subscription fee. This will be in a downloadable PDF format. Target Audience: Middle school students Timeline: September 2010 Cost: Free Tactic #2: Videoconference sessions between schools and space expert Brief Description: Once a semester an expert on space topics, possibly a member of the Coalition, will have a video conference call with students across the country. There will be two different video conferences, one that targets upper elementary and middle school students and one that targets high school students. There will be different topics for each conversation and students can e-mail the expert with questions before the videoconference. Examples of topics include: STEM career exploration, current NASA events, everyday items that were created in space and how to be involved in STEM activities. Target Audience: Middle school students Timeline: 2010-2011 school year Cost: Free 56
  56. 56. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #3: Competition for students to a solve problem using STEM (Planning Section Cont.) knowledge Brief Description: The Coalition will create a contest in which it sends out disassembled gadgets to high school students. For example, it will send out a disassembled cell phone, video game controller or MP3 player. The first 50 students that send in the gadget reassembled will win a $500 college scholarship from the Coalition. The only restriction is that scholarship must be used for a STEM-related major. It is suggested that the Coalition partner with a company, such as Nokia, willing to donate parts and supplies. Recommended that there be a $5 entrance fee to cover the cost of shipping Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: Contest will start in January 2011 and will run until 100 students successfully complete the challenge Cost: 50 students X $500 scholarship = $25,000 Tactic #4: Create a Web site for students Brief Description: Create a Web site to promote STEM education that includes three sections. In the third section, it will provide STEM information to students such as STEM activities occurring in their areas, experiments, viral videos, STEM career paths and the presence of the celebrity spokesperson. Target Audience: Students with an interest in STEM Timeline: June 2010 Cost: (See goal one, objective one, tactic one) 57
  57. 57. STEMulate Your Mind (Planning Section Cont.) Objective #1: Increase media attention on current events regarding space Goal #3: To increase public support for space programs and exploration Tactic #1: News releases Brief Description: Infiltrate national media by sending out press releases that detail current events about NASA and space happenings. Include new media outlets such as Popular Science Magazine as well as CNN. The news releases will include information about all of the various tactics proposed in this document. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults, technology-age young adults Timeline: May 2010 Cost: Free Tactic #2: Media kit to cover last shuttle launch Brief Description: Send out a full media kit to national media outlets highlighting the final shuttle launch. Explain in the media kits the effect the shuttles retirement has on American astronauts and American space dominance. Include videos, backgrounders, fact sheets, news releases, brochures and photos. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults Timeline: August 2010 Cost: Free Objective #2: Emphasize the importance of space exploration to the American Public Tactic #1: News releases to highlight international competition Brief Description: News releases to national media outlets will raise awareness about the U.S.’s position in international competitions to claim a leading position in space exploration as well as to catch up to other developed nations in STEM education rankings. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults Timeline: August 2010 Cost: Free 58
  58. 58. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #2: Print Advertisements about advances from space technology (Planning Section Cont.) Brief Description: This ad features commonly used products that are the result of advances from space. These images with include a brief description of how the products are space-related with a link to the Coalition’s Web site for more information. Target Audience: Technology-age young adults Timeline: June 2010 Cost: Secondary: (Will depend on publication vehicle, size of ad, color, etc.) Tactic #3: Underwrite NPR’s All Things Considered Brief Description: The Coalition will sponsor a weekly NPR program, directing listeners to their web site to gain readership and interest. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults Timeline: June 2010 Cost: $33.75 per 15 second spot X 4 times a day X 5 times a week for4 weeks= $2700 Tactic #4:Documentary (Titusville) Brief Description: Create a short documentary about the small U.S. town, Titusville. Facing the loss of the community’s main source of employment, The Kennedy Space Center, this town provides a down- to-earth perspective on how the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle will directly affect citizens. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults Timeline: September 2011 Cost: Secondary: $100,000 for production 59
  59. 59. STEMulate Your Mind Tactic #5: Monthly newsletter addressing current events of space (Planning Section Cont.) Brief Description: Send newsletters addressing topics such as the retirement of the space shuttle and the need for continued space travel. Web sites will be provided for further inquiry. We will utilize the e-mail list provided by the Coalition. Target Audience: Baby Boomer Adults Timeline: Beginning June 2010 Cost: Free Objective #3: Drive traffic to the Coalition’s Web sites Tactic #1: Attach link in collaterals to direct traffic to the Coalition’s Web sites Brief Description: All of our executions will have a link to a Coalition Web site as a call to action. Based on whether the focus of the execution is towards space or STEM education, the attached link will direct the audience to either the Coalition’s Web site or the www. Target Audience: Parents of pre-college youth, Baby Boomer adults, middle school teachers, middle school students Timeline: June 2010 Cost: Free Tactic #2: Utilize existing Coalition social media to drive parents and students to Brief Description: Use the Coalition’s existing Facebook and blog to advertise the STEM parent/student/teacher web site and viral videos. The Facebook group can send event invitations to members for STEM contests and events, with the ability to invite friends who are not members to spread word of the events virally. Target Audience: Parents of pre-college youth, students with an interest in STEM Timeline: June 2010 Cost: Free 60
  60. 60. STEMulate Your Mind Executions 61
  61. 61. STEMulate Your Mind Executions Communications Package Description #1 Title: – Parents Web site Brief Description: A Web site created to address the needs of three targeted groups: students, parents and teachers. The home page of the Web site will allow the visitor to choose the group to which they belong and direct them to the corresponding, secondary group page. The mission and values statements of the Web site would also be available through the home page. The Parent Web site will include: • A news column focusing on the scientific innovation of both STEM professionals and college students in STEM fields. • A blog written by a STEM professional pertaining to the topics of parenting and the degree of influence parents have on their child’s career choice. • Suggestions for how parents can communicate the importance of STEM to their children. • Sample experiments that parents can perform with their children ranked by age of the child and difficulty. • Information on science camps and organizations in their area provided by the state. • Information on the alliance with the PTA. (see goal one, objective one, tactic two for more information) The goal of the Parents site is to engage parents in their child’s educational growth and to connect parents with information on STEM opportunities. Traffic will be guided to the Web site by the inclusion of the Web site’s address on the most of the promotional materials included in this plan. Status: Sample mock-ups of the home page and Parents Web site are complete. Location: A Mock-up of the home page and follows this description. 62