The road to building a robust STEM program began by talking with teachers directly. “We began with our customers by bringing Group Leaders into EF’s Boston office to brainstorm. We wanted to learn which STEM elements were truly important to them. Through these conversations, it became clear that the salient features of our STEM portfolio needed to include students making, creating, and doing, in addition to discovering, noticing deeply, and sharing their perceptions,” reflects Darby.
Darby worked with the Product Development team (think of them as “itinerary builders”) to implement suggestions from Group Leaders and create an outline of STEM Discovery: Boston. Then, as he worked to secure long-lasting relationships with top STEM organizations (like MIT, FIRST®, and the Museum of Science), he also realized that as the STEM world constantly evolves, so should our on-tour student experiences and projects.
“We’re always sourcing new STEM partners with exciting, hands-on experiences to offer our student travelers. We lean into the notion that science is advancing with exponential speed. In order to keep up and ensure our itineraries exemplify current, innovative discoveries and relevant content, we are always looking for the latest and greatest in all of our STEM Discovery destinations, including Boston. This process is rooted in market research and leveraging our current connections to open new doors. For example, we would never have met with students involved in the Student Space Initiative at Stanford University (now on STEM Discovery: San Francisco) if it wasn’t for a close relationship with the New York Academy of Science built through STEM Discovery: New York City. The process is iterative and always exciting!” says Darby.