Provides strategies to help governors and their policy partners craft a communications strategy that overcomes challenges related to building support for statewide Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.
"As governors move this important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) policy agenda forward, they may find that some of their constituents have yet to be persuaded of the need for improvement. Some citizens and stakeholders may fail to grasp the strong link between high-quality STEM education and economic development in the state. Others may question the value of rigorous and relevant STEM courses for high school students who do not intend to pursue science- or math-intensive careers. Still others may believe that STEM education should be reserved for only the most advanced students. All of these message barriers can and must be addressed. This toolkit provides core messages, materials, and communications strategies to help governors overcome such challenges and build strong support for STEM education initiatives. Discussion areas include: (1) Strategic Planning; (2) Message Development; (3) Frequently Asked Questions; (4) Sample Media Releases; (5) Example Op-Eds; and (6) Sample Congressional Testimony" (Abstractor: ERIC)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Core STEM education communication strategies that can help to build support for a statewide STEM education initiative includes: •Identify target audiences [such as] local policymakers, school district superintendents, business community, K-12 educators, [and] students and families” (p. 6). •“Conduct qualitative and quantitative researcher to determine primary stakeholders and their preferences, effective message materials, and general public opinion benchmarks” (p. 7). •[Develop] “general and audience specific messages on the importance of rigorous and relevant STEM education for all students” (p. 7). •[Develop] “a number of collateral materials [with other agencies that are a part of the] STEM education system” (pp. 7-8). •“Outreach through traditional media...[such as] public announcements, media events, [and] op-ed pieces and letters to the editor” (p. 8). •“Outreach through new media…[such as] enhanced state Web sites, online messages on STEM, [and] student and/or professional blogs and podcast” (p. 9-10). •“Promoting STEM education through public events… [such as] community forums and town hall meetings” (p. 11). Core strategies that can help to build STEM education core messages include: •“Develop messages that appeal [to key audiences such as,] teachers and school administrators, business community, [and] higher education administrators and faculty” (p. 17) •“Link the improvement of STEM education to a range of other public policy priorities [when reaching out to key audiences…[such as] STEM and higher education, STEM and economic development, [and] STEM and workforce development ” (pp. 18-19). •“Use state statistics and data that demonstrates the importance of rigorous and relevant STEM education for all K-12 students the state’s economic future” (p. 20). (Abstractor: Author, Website Staff)