This past week Accelerate Learning attended the CAST conference in Fort Worth, TX. The event was packed with teachers and members of STAT (Science Teachers Association of Texas) as they gathered to learn about new classroom techniques, see varied exhibits, and invest their time in professional development outside of their classroom.
Our team arrived on Wednesday ready to take on the task of building our front line exhibit and make sure we had everything ready to showcase our numerous products and give examples of our activities. As we worked to put together the booth, our experts in professional development and curriculum prepared themselves for their upcoming sessions.
Thursday morning bright and early the doors to the exhibit hall opened to a vast group of teachers and educators ready to take on the day. From the front lines you can hear teachers in a jubilant chant yell "STEMscopes, STEMscopes!" as they gathered inside the booth to talk to the many members of our team about our products and to see what exciting prizes we had in store for them. We had several raffle items in store: an Apple Watch, a classroom set of print, and a classroom kit set. In order for them to enter the prize our request was simple — wear our STEMscopes drawstring bag around for the next day and you will be greeted randomly at any time by our team roamers who would hand out the raffle ticket and a Starbucks gift card. The response was welcomed by excitement as we gave out over 2,000 bags that were proudly displayed throughout the hall, into the lobbies of the convention center and hotel, and even among the streets of downtown Ft. Worth.
With all the hype surrounding the raffle, we could not even imagine what was happening inside the session suites. Rooms were filled to the brim with so many educators, there was little room to move. Many overflowed into the hallways — they were ready to hear the words of STEMscopes experts.
As the conference came to a close on Saturday, the excitement did not abate. Many individuals were ready to see if they won our prizes they gathered and waited patiently from start to 11 AM when the raffle took place. Only one lucky winner was going to walk away with each prize and we were all excited to see who it would be. We drew the first number for the first prize, the print, and yelled it out to the crowd — no claimer. We drew a second number — no claimer, onto the next. This went on for a couple of minutes before someone finally yelled out from the crowd. They came bounding in, jumping up and down into the booth. We had found our first winner!
Next we raffled off the kit — the next person came running in, happy to receive one of our kits right for their grade level and classroom. Lastly, came the ultimate prize that educators were hoping for: the Apple Watch.
We drew the number, and another, and another until finally we pulled a successful name. The winner ran up to the booth with a wide smile. She had won the Apple Watch!
The conference ended with many educators who had yet to experience STEMscopes enlightened by our engaging products and ecstatic at the economical value it would provide their schools, and with current users happy to see all the product feature enhancements and updates.
The Accelerate Learning team also had their fair share of fun amongst the educators as they attended the Mothership party and dinner where our CEO, Dr. Vernon Johnson was honored. Among the hoards of teachers, we injected ourselves into the many games and activities, and even had one our own team members make in onstage for a challenge.
Our team bonding was also uplifted as departments came together to make sure the conference went off without a hitch. As we made some time for outings around downtown, we found the love for STEMscopes at the most interesting of all places. Until the next CAST, we are happy to say our original foreCAST of smooth sailing was correct.
To view more pictures and stories from CAST, please visit us on social media!