Lack of diversity in STEM is anything but super, with currently only 16% of the scientists and engineers in the US being women, people of color, or people with disabilities. One big reason for lack of representation? These groups are less likely to be exposed to STEM (and how amazing it can be!) at an early age!
According to research conducted by 3M, to get the next generation interested in STEM, they must first understand how STEM can improve the world we live in. This definitely should pique the interest of Gen Z, because according to our own DoSomething.org survey, 75% of Gen Z believe they will change the world.
That’s why DoSomething created the STEM Superheroes art contest and campaign, in partnership with 3M, to inspire and empower the next generation of diverse STEM stars and show how STEM can save the world!
Get young people to understand science’s impact on the world
Reach the largest “underrepresented in STEM” audience possible
Get a minimum of 50,000 students to participate in the campaign
Promote relatability and representation in STEM to a minimum of 100,000 early age students
Art Contest. We challenged young people to use their own critical thinking skills to think about the question: How can STEM save the world? Then, we gave them a creative outlet to show us what they know and what they care about. We provided them with superpower thought starters and a template to create their own STEM superhero -- any superhero that uses STEM related superpowers to save the world. We had our members vote on a top STEM superhero and awarded the winning student artist a $5,000 scholarship!
School Posters. We created a poster sized version of the winning STEM Superhero entry to distribute to 5,000 schools across the country, to show other young students what a world of STEM superpowers can do.
National Call-To-Action. We encouraged campaign participants to hang their superhero poster in an elementary or middle school classroom, library, or hallway to invite in the largest audience possible. We also encouraged them to pass out our superhero template to younger students to Inspire and (super)empower them to create their own STEM superheroes!
Campaign Site. We launched a campaign microsite which provided young people with all the information needed to participate, and inspire their peers to participate as well.
Editorial. We created original editorial content featuring young, diverse figures in STEM, to promote the STEM Superheroes campaign to DoSomething members and other young people, to get them interested and excited about STEM and allow them to easily see themselves in this field.
Scholarships. We offered campaign participants a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship as incentive for students to participate in the campaign.
Social Media. We held an all-day takeover on Twitter on November 8, in support of National #STEMDAY and the STEM Superheroes campaign. Throughout the day, we only shared STEM-related content both original DoSomething editorial and third-party articles/posts, linking to the campaign page on our site in every post. We received social media support from Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, Bezos Scholars Program, and the We Are Family Foundation. Finally, we attended New York Comic Con and held an Instagram takeover where we featured 10 diverse young people dressed in their favorite superhero costumes, with a swipe-up to our STEM Superheroes campaign.
Marketing Partners. To drive marketing impressions, as well as campaign amplification to a student audience, particularly BIPOC students, through marketing and promotional partners, we listed STEM Superheroes on the popular scholarship sites such as Fastweb, Niche, Unigo and CollegeXpress. We also collaborated with our marketing partner, EngineerGirl, and highlighted their 2019 EngineerGirl Ambassadors list, connecting this editorial feature back to our STEM Superheroes campaign.
52,834 students signed up for the campaign and received messaging and information about STEM opportunities during the campaign's flight. 80% identified as female, 20% were in low-income communities, and 23% were in communities with primarily Black & LatinX populations.
An estimated 100,000 students saw the winning STEM superhero poster in their school after it was distributed to 5000 schools with higher rates of populations that are underrepresented in STEM.
82,929 elementary and middle school students who learned directly from our young campaign participants.
We received 1,081 STEM creative and unique superhero submissions.
The campaign garnered 66,552,876 total media impressions, including promotional support on social media from Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code.