What are STEM + Families Science Festivals?
STEM + Families Science Festivals bring together students and families to participate in science activities. Hosting an event is:
Fun: Shared hands-on science experiences.
Inspiring: Help all kids experience and explore activities and careers in STEM
Host a STEM + Families Science Festival ProgramBy hosting a National PTA STEM + Families Science Festival program, your PTA will provide amazing opportunities for families to participate in shared, hands-on science activities. Help all kids and families experience and explore activities and be inspired to pursue careers in STEM!
STEM + Families Science Festival Program at Home Toolkit
PTAs can host a successful STEM + Families Science Festival program at home using the following toolkit, which includes helpful how-to documents and sample templates.
As part of the PTA Programs at Home initiative, your PTA has the option to determine which model you want to use to best engage your school community: Real-Time, At Your Own Pace or Tech-Free.
In-Person STEM + Families Science Festival Toolkit
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our STEM + Families Science Festival Toolkit helped PTAs facilitate in-person gatherings. We are preserving this toolkit below, and we hope to resume use of it when the Center for Disease Control advises that conditions are safe for group gatherings to resume.
This toolkit includes helpful how-to documents and sample templates you can use to make planning a STEM + Families Science Festival easy.
You can also download this Hosting a STEM + Families Science Festival From Start to Finish Guide, which includes the same information as the toolkit all in one PDF.
STEP 1: Plan Your Event
Form a planning committee by inviting parents and teachers of STEM subjects to join. Recruit at least 10-15 volunteers to help during the Science Festival. Organize your tasks, create a budget and schedule deadlines. Reach out to local partners to gain donations and community volunteers.
- Planning Your Science Festival: Webinar Slides and Recording
- Science Festival Photo Carousel
- Event Planning Checklist
- Sample Budget (en español)
- Why STEM? (Quick Talking Points)
- How to Ask Parents What They Want
- Soliciting Donations Template
- Science Festival FAQs
- Hosting a Science Festival From Start to Finish Guide
- Review Facilitator Guides and Choose Which Experiments You Will Host
- Materials Planning List – Interactive Spreadsheet
- Experiment Demonstration Videos
- Optional extension activities list (Does your PTA want to host more than 10 activities?)
- Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet (en español)
- Tips for Recruiting Non-PTA Volunteers (So PTA Parents Can Participate)
- Invitation to Volunteer (en español)
Hosting events like this is also a great way to recruit new PTA members! Consider having recruitment flyers like this one at your event.
STEP 2: Promote Your Event
Utilize as many platforms as possible for promoting your event. Translate documents into languages your school community speaks.
- Tips for Promoting Your Event
- Authorized STEM + Families Logo
- Invitation Letter to Parents (en español)
- Invitation Letter to Elected Officials (en español)
- Flyer Template (en español)
- Morning Announcement Template (en español)
- Media Advisory Template
- Press Release Template: $500 Renewal Grant Recipient (en español), $1000 Local Grant Recipient (en español), or $3000 Regional Grant Recipient (en español)
- Social Media Messages (en español)
STEP 3: Host Your Event
Ensure that everything goes smoothly at your Science Festival! Offer take-aways to parents who attend to help them retain and build on what they learned.
STEP 4: Wrap Up
Be sure to thank your PTA, school staff, community partners and parent volunteers. Gather feedback, report your results to National PTA and use the findings to plan your next event. National PTA recommends offering an incentive for completing the survey (e.g. enter names into a drawing for a $50 gift card donated by a local merchant).
In addition to the Experiment Guides provided for the volunteers to use at the experiment stations, we have also provided Family Guides with experiment instructions for adults and family members to use at the experiment stations.
Experiments are divided into three main categories: Biology, Materials Science and Chemistry.