STEM Ambassador Mark Klimek shares his experiences of doing STEM engagement online

Issued: Fri, 22 May 2020 00:00:00 BST

What activity did you provide online/remotely?

Working from home just now, meant the team had a daily conference Skype call. For two and a half weeks we have had a 5-minute interval where I have had an on-line experiment or demonstration to entertain and challenge the engineering teams.

Where did this originate from – eg an idea you had, a resource you saw online, a suggestion from an activity organiser (e.g a teacher, community group leader, STEM Ambassador Hub, Museum)?

Staff know I do some STEM work at schools and events and have lots of interesting equipment at home, so I was asked by one of the managers if I had anything to demonstrate while on line. I think they could see things in background of my room at home and wanted to ask questions.

Tell us about the process of organising the activity. Was it more or less straightforward than you would have thought, and why?

A bit of thought was required for something new everyday and it had to fit into the view of the camera while sitting at my desk. So, nothing too big or too small. Other than that, having everything to hand added to the entertainment.

How did this activity compare to any face to face engagements you have previously done?

Working online makes questions difficult if too many talk at once or delay pauses cause problems. However, it makes potentially dangerous experiments safe for spectators.

What advice do you have for other STEM Ambassadors about taking their volunteering online?

Have a run though before going live and know the timing. Have a backup in case it goes wrong and you need to fill the time with something else.