Returning March 2018

Imagining the Future Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What can I expect from the STEM Professional's visit to my classroom?
Most STEM professionals will have prepared a 30-minute presentation about the questions/problems they are addressing in their work and the challenges facing the future of their field, leaving additional time for Q&A or other interactions. Some will also have a demo or hands-on activity prepared. Please understand that most STEM professionals are not trained educators. They are coming to your classroom not to teach specific content standards, but rather to share their experiences in the STEM workforce and to show how students' STEM learning in class could be applied in the real world. Our STEM professionals are encouraged to be interactive, bring tools of their trade, show pictures of their workplace, share their career journey, ask questions and allow for student discussion, work with you to better understand students' prior knowledge and grade-appropriate learning outcomes, do a brief demo of a scientific concept that relates to their job or industry, or to engage the class in an inquiry-based activity where possible. However, not every presentation will include all these elements. You may wish to examine the Speaker Guide provided by ASF (contains tips and sample lesson outline) to better understand what the Festival intends for STEM professionals to do. With your help and communication prior to the visit, STEM professionals can meet your expectations to the best of their abilities. It is vital that you contact the STEM professional ahead of time to discuss these issues, as well as the logistics of time/date/building entry/etc.

See Teacher Guide for more information on what to expect from your visit.

What are the program's objectives?
Imagining the Future seeks to increase students’ a) knowledge of the unique science and technology coming out of Atlanta universities and businesses, b) interest in STEM careers, and c) understanding of the unsolved problems and unanswered questions facing STEM industries.

How do I request a classroom visit?
Fill out the online request form, available from October 1 through December 9, 2016.

Is it possible to request a specific STEM professional?
There is a place on the registration form to specify such a request. The ASF will do our best to accommodate all requests.

I teach multiple classes, can I have the speaker come to every class?
These accommodations can be made, but at the discretion of the speaker. Most STEM professionals are unable to spend the entire day at your school and will not be able to visit all your classes. You may wish to organize a small assembly or combination of classes, if such arrangements are possible. We understand the challenges of pulling students out of other classes. ASF will try to match STEM professionals willing to give more than one talk with schools making this request. However, with a limited supply of STEM professionals, we prefer to offer this program to more schools rather than to all students at fewer schools. Ultimately, it is up to you and the STEM professional to work out the details of the visit.



What am I expected to do during my visit to the school this spring?
We expect you to prepare an approximately 30-minute presentation about your career, the questions/problems you are tackling now, and the challenges facing the future of your field. We encourage you to be as interactive as possible. For example, you may bring tools of your trade to show and share, show pictures of your workplace, share your career journey, ask questions and allow for student discussion, show real data and ask students to interpret them, do a brief demo of an age-appropriate scientific concept that relates to your job or industry, or engage the class in a hands-on, inquiry-based activity. Your visit is meant to get students excited about the work that you do, about the unanswered questions and problems in your field, and about the possibility of a career in your field. Emphasize how your work can potentially affect the future of our world. Help students see how the STEM concepts they are learning in school are applied in the real world. Avoid doing a demo/activity that is unrelated to your field. ASF staff are happy to help you develop a successful visit - please contact It is vital that you contact the teacher ahead of time to clarify expectations, to share concerns, and to better understand the students' prior knowledge and expected learning outcomes.

See our Speaker Guide for helpful information including what to do before/during/after your visit, helpful tips, and a sample lesson outline.

What are the program's objectives? 
As a STEM professional in the Imagining the Future program, your objectives are to increase students’  a) knowledge of the unique science and technology coming out of Atlanta universities and businesses, b) interest in STEM careers, and c) understanding of the unsolved problems and unanswered questions facing STEM industries. See our Speaker Guide for guidance on achieving these objectives.

How do I participate?
Complete the online registration form.

When should I schedule my visit?
Classroom visits should occur anytime in spring that is convenient for you and your teacher. Please try to schedule your visit in advnace of the Festival (March 15-25). One of the outcomes of your visit will be to increase awareness of the Atlanta Science Festival and to encourage students and teachers to attend Festival events.

Where are schools located?
Throughout Atlanta metro area. There will be an area on the registration form to indicate the counties to which you are willing to travel. We will do our best to accommodate all requests.

What grade levels are participating?
Classes will range from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Upon registration, you may specify your preferred age group(s).

How long should the presentation be?
Classes typically run fifty minutes. We suggest preparing a thirty minute talk, leaving plenty of time for questions and interactions with students. However, please discuss these details with your matched teacher.

What is the time commitment?
There is a part of the registration form where you can tell us how much time you can contribute. Some schools are able to bring classes to an auditorium to hear a single presentation, but many teachers work with more than one class throughout the day and would be very grateful to have STEM professionals talk with several consecutive classes of students. It is likely that the teacher will want you to visit more than one classroom, so that all of their students may benefit from your visit. Please do the best you can to accommodate; however, we understand the limitations of your time off of work. ASF is doing its best to manage teachers' expectations on this front. Ultimately, it is up to you and the teacher to work out the details.