Connect students with a wide variety of STEAM professionals to bring authenticity and additional input to students’ CS classroom experience.

  • Connect students to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) professionals with a variety of backgrounds and work experience to give students insight about how their classwork fits into a professional landscape.
  • When communicating with the professional guests, students get to practice effective, businesslike communication.
    • Professionals can give real world feedback about the quality of student work and how the work looks and reads in a professional setting.
  • These opportunities can contribute immensely to students future growth. Students can and should reach out to these visitors on their own. Make sure to encourage them to do so.
    • By following up with a thank you note and a letter requesting information interviews, job shadowing opportunities, and advice on resumes and portfolio, students can create a strong and powerful network with the professionals who visit the class.
  • Actively seek people to come speak to your classroom.
    • Make sure invited professionals come from many different backgrounds to ensure a culturally diverse group of people share their stories with your students.
    • Mentors can come from anywhere. People you meet at conferences, friends and families, or non-profit organizations. A mentor may even be someone you meet in line at a store or event!
  • Plan activities for classes with a guest professional; this gives everyone involved a meaningful and interactive experience. Possible activities include: portfolio critique, mock interviews, evaluate projects, guest speaker, career panel Q&A.
  • Pair students with mentors to help build skills and add a personal experience.
    • Consider creating a formalized mentoring community at your school similar to the iMentor program at AFSE in New York City or
      • This works best in areas with a high density of tech workers, but you can create remote mentoring opportunities as well by using web-technologies like video-chat.
  • Bring speakers into classrooms, in person or through video-chat, and take field trips to companies in order to connect students to real workplaces.
  • Reach out to experts in the technology field and ask them to review your curriculum every year or two for feedback.