In the first installment of FTC’s Year in Review article, we covered key events and developments in the club for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Similarly, FTC has been involved in a couple of big projects this year and we are excited to update you on how those events went! In this article, we want to highlight our members’ personal experiences in volunteering for the SparkSTEM Fest.

The SparkSTEM Fest is a four-day event held in February at the Orlando Science Center. The event showcased a variety of STEM experts and organizations from all around Central Florida with the goal of educating and inspiring the general public in STEM-related fields. 

FTC had an amazing opportunity to introduce who we are as an organization along with some topics in technical communications at the SparkSTEM Fest over the weekend. FTC volunteers presented an overview of the technical communication field, types of technical documentation, and careers in technical communications. What’s more, to further engage our audience with technical writing, we decided to incorporate a game called “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.” 

The basic premise of the game is that you are alone in a room with a bomb. Your friends outside have the instructions for defusing the bomb, but they can’t see the bomb, and you can’t see them. The audience has to work together to defuse the bomb. Our aim with this exercise is to get our audience involved and to demonstrate the importance of technical writing (and instructions). Who said technical communication can’t be fun?

While volunteers and club members could contribute to many areas of the project, such as designing a Z-brochure and creating the presentation that we used for the SparkSTEM Fest, I want to share my experience in presenting at the Orlando Science Center with other volunteers.

Surprisingly, SparkSTEM Fest was my first time meeting other FTC members. Though I worked with Joy and Dominck, I never got to meet them in person. It was slow that Sunday morning so the group spent the time reviewing our slides and chatting in between handing out flyers to attract visitors to our presentation. I had a great time meeting Joy and Dom and walking around with them to see other exhibits at the science center. 

What stuck out to me the most during my time presenting at the SparkSTEM Fest was that some of the people in the audience were actually technical writers themselves. They told us, “Hey, documentation is what we do at our job!” and it was cool to see and talk to people in the field that we are working towards.

This is what Dominick had to say about his experience at SparkSTEM Fest: “Teaching people about technical communication with my friends was such a rewarding experience because we demonstrated how the field applies to everything, including video games! It was also an excellent team-building experience.”

All in all, volunteering at the SparkSTEM Fest was such a rewarding experience because I learned from not only creating the material for the presentation but also meeting new people who are interested in technical communications. I highly recommend any new members delve into FTC’s future projects, as it will help build connections with other technical communication students and professionals in the field.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our last installation of FTC’s Year-in-Review Article. We’ll see you next time!