Speak It: Practical tools for communication

Say This, Not That

FrameWorks’ communications research has discovered that many of the common arguments made by STEM education advocates could have unintended and sometime unproductive effects on our audience. Here's a quick tour of do’s and don’ts when advocating for afterschool STEM.

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Sample Communications

These are intended for you to freely personalize and adapt—the hard work of framing is already done!

Sample Tweets Sample Blogs Sample Editorials

Talking to Families & Schools about STEM

Afterschool staff are often on the frontlines of communication with parents, teachers and other community members.  So it is important for them to effectively communicate the value of providing STEM experiences after school and describing the thought and care that goes into designing such experiences. With this guide, help your staff communicate confidently and competently with the parents, teachers, and school staff they informally encounter. Includes quick conversation starters and example language for social media and newsletters.

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Media Guidance (coming December 2016)

For all communications, online or in print, photos help tell a story. Too often, people don’t have a clear understanding of what engaging, hands-on STEM looks like—meaning they don’t fully understand the power of afterschool STEM. This guide will provide tips for using photos and videos in your communications, including selecting and taking photos, crafting captions and accompanying social media, as well as how to best capture afterschool STEM on video.


FrameWorks Academy

The FrameWorks Academy is a set of interactive online courses offered by the FrameWorks Institute. Some of the courses are available for free and others are available for a nominal cost. We encourage you to check them out the website to see if any of them might be useful to you.

Widening the Lens on Informal STEM: Telling Thematic Stories

In American culture, we most often tell highly personal, individualized stories. While these might be highly compelling, when it comes to storytelling about social issues, telling stories through such a tightly focused lens leaves a lot of important aspects out of the picture: the factors and conditions responsible for the problem; the opportunities for public engagement; the impact on the larger society; and why there’s a need to change systems, laws, policies and programs. In contrast, we should be telling “thematic stories,” or stories that take in the big picture and opens the door to a better understanding of both the causes of social problems as well as their solutions. FrameWorks' interactive online course online exploring these ideas, called Wide Angle Lens, is available for FREE at the FrameWorks Academy for a limited time.

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Framing with Numbers: Using Social Math

As communicators, we often reach for data to help us make powerful arguments. Without careful framing, we can't ensure that our audience will interpret data in the ways that we want them to. The goal is to use numbers strategically and sparingly. This short online course from the FrameWorks Academy demonstrates the concept of social math, or the practice of providing meaning first, followed by easily understandable data. Please note that there is an associated cost of $35.

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