PLEASE NOTE: The Congressional Briefing will be held Fall 2015
Yikes! The MLC is going to DC! Now what do I do?
Going to our nation’s capital to visit with members of Congress and their staff can be a chilling prospect for many. What do I wear? What do I say? How can I prepare? Well, here at the MLC we have been working to make this trip not only worth your while but also ensure you are well prepared and can navigate the marble halls with confidence and ease.
The first thing that each mobile lab program should be doing NOW is learning about your members of Congress. What committees do they sit on? Do they support and advance STEM education? Do they know about your program?
Next, let the District staff know you will be in DC in July and would like a meeting with the member or their key STEM/Education staffer. Remember, the staff in DC are the keepers of information and are valued members of the legislative team. Offices usually have staff that are specialists in specific topic areas. Meeting with a staff member is a great opportunity to share your story and make them aware of the great STEM work you do.
Not sure what to talk about in that Congressional office? Ideally, you will have 15 minutes with the staff person or member. You should be prepared to give a brief summary of how your program provides STEM opportunities to the member’s constitutes. Share one story of reaching a special population or what makes your program unique.
The MLC is working with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) to develop clear talking points on STEM education funding. This partnership will ensure that all of us in the informal science community will be sharing the same story and making the same ask, which will strengthen our collective case. It is vitally important that we stress the value of STEM and share how we as individual members and the coalition as a whole support broad based initiatives to expand STEM funding. This isn’t the time to go in with individual requests but rather to share a single message and strengthen the field as a whole.
Closer to the event we will be providing talking points and a webinar on just how to make a legislative visit for those who have not previously been to DC. We are grateful for all members who take the leap and join us in DC. Walking the halls can be fun if you remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring your team player mindset. See you in DC.
The Congressional Briefing will be held Fall 2015.