When it comes to one-time opportunities, Lunch and Learns are one of the most impactful engagements your company can partake in. There is minimal planning, set-up, and time invested in hosting one of these events. They can be a great starting off point for more ongoing interaction between the STEM professionals, students and teachers.
Lunch and Learns are essentially question and answer sessions. Your company will visit a local middle or high school and answer questions for about 30 students. Typically, companies send 4-6 employees of different professions and of diverse backgrounds (remember, our organization focuses on engaging the underrepresented in STEM). As a selling point for the students, the company typically provides funds for a quick lunch.
The purpose of a Lunch and Learn is to inform students about potential careers that they may not have considered or may know little to nothing about.
For middle school students, exposure to a potential STEM career is important because they are more likely to find these careers “cool” at this age.
For high school students, you will be likely be talking with students already interested in a STEM career. That means getting your company name out there and being the source of their “ah-ha” moment could potentially mean a future intern or employee!
Lunch and Learns are also a great stepping off point for interested individuals to engage in ongoing STEM volunteer opportunities which dive deeper into student impact.
Here is a sample agenda from previous Lunch and Learns, usually only an hour in length.
11:15AM – 11:30AM Company and Students Arrive
11:30AM – 11:40AM Sign-in/Lunch
11:40AM – 11:50AM Introductions
11:50AM – 12:20PM Open Q&A Session
12:20PM – 12:25PM Closing Remarks
12:25PM – 12:30PM Group Photo/Dismissal
Having an agenda is great, but the session often deviates from it. Students become quite inquisitive and the question and answer portion becomes difficult to contain in the time allotted, which is a good problem to have!