Opening Festival

The Dream Big film aims to inspire audiences of all ages to want to learn more about engineering. An Opening Festival, held at the museums where the film premieres, provides the “learn more” right outside the theater door. Host a festival filled with family-friendly activity stations and local engineers to make a BIG impression in your community.

Blueprint for Success

1. Organize a planning committee. Bring together museum staff, education groups and representatives from the local engineering community.

2. Harness the power of the local engineering community (organizations, companies and universities) to get the word out, provide volunteers and recruit sponsors by involving them in the early planning.

3. A festival works best when you fill your space with multiple hands-on activity stations, demos and other programs selected to engage families and visitors of all ages.

4. Choose short activities that directly complement content in the Dream Big film. We suggest Windy City TowerBuild an Earthquake Resistant StructureStrongest ShapesCable-Stayed Bridge (perfect for your theater lobby), and Slender Tower.  You could also set up a demo station featuring the Engineering Encounters bridge design software as shown in the film.

5. Staff activity stations and demos with real engineers to serve as facilitators and role models. Have them watch the web tutorial Effectively Talking to Kids About Engineering.     

6. Dream Big shows kids and engineering students engaging in competitions. Invite a local Future City team to display their city model at your festival to add an element of kids talking to kids about engineering. You could also invite a local university solar car, Concrete Canoe or robotics team to demo their projects.

7. Use Dream Big’s resources—logos, photos, and artwork—to enhance your event and promotional efforts. 

8. Invite non-traditional audiences to participate in the Opening Festival.

9. Consider hosting an engineer from the DREAM BIG film at your event. (Contact MacGillivray Freeman for availability and possible costs.)

A Few More Details

  • Contact DiscoverE if you need volunteers or want to volunteer at your local museum.

  • If you are new to planning an Engineering Festival, review this brief training tutorial from DiscoverE.

  • Get more Opening Festival ideas from this chapter of the Museum Guide.

  • Get more Opening Festival ideas from this chapter of the Engineers Guide. 

Girls Night Out

Dream Big introduces audiences to three female engineers who are powerful role models. Show the girls in your community what careers in engineering look like by hosting a Girls Night Out event. Simply combine a screening of the Dream Big film with female engineers and undergraduates, then add in some hands-on activities, and you’ll have a fun-filled evening that’s sure to spark a girl’s imagination.

Blueprint for Success

1. With the Dream Big film as its centerpiece, consider hosting your event at a museum theater.

2. Invite a dynamic female engineer to introduce the film, or have a panel of female engineers from different backgrounds take questions at the end. The film features two New Faces of Engineering nominees. Consider including a New Face in your program.

3. Include female engineering students as role models. They can bridge the age and experience gap between the working engineers and girls.

4. Determine your ideal number of participants. Work with organizations like Girls, IncGirl Scouts, or National Girls Collaborative Project, to reach underserved girls in your community.

5. Following the film, seat the girls and engineers and undergraduates at round tables to facilitate discussion.

6. Use Dream Big activities as ice-breakers. Consider fun activities such as Creepy PuttyDesign a Shoe, or Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

7. Make sure you invite the girls' female relatives or teachers. Show them how they can sustain enthusiasm and interest in engineering after the event.

8. Prepare a flyer with information about other local ways to explore engineering or scholarship information.

9. Serve really good snacks.

10. Partner with the engineering community to help identify speakers, recruit volunteers or sponsor the event.

11. Use Dream Big’s resources —logos, photos, and artwork— to enhance your event and promotional efforts.

A Few More Details

Getting the Film

Blu-Ray and DVD copies are available for purchase on Amazon. Digital and IMAX copies are also available for an additional fee. All screenings, regarless of format, muse get approval from the producers prior to event date. Complete and return this form to request either a Blu-Ray, Digital or IMAX version. Applications must be received by January 18, 2019 to allow enough time for review and approval for events taking place on and around Girl Day (February 21st).


Community Screenings

Dream Big screening is a great way to showcase and celebrate engineering for youth and engineers alike. Whatever your goals—reaching underserved youth, sharing engineering with the educators in your community, or galvanizing your colleagues— a Dream Big screening adds sizzle to your outreach.

Blueprint for Success

1. Decide on your audience and event goals:

Educators—show area educators the amazing world of engineering

Students—share engineering with underserved students

Employees & Volunteers—celebrate their achievements

Engineering undergraduates—show them the world that awaits

2. Plan the type of event using the film as a centerpiece. Is this a field trip, an informal reception for family and friends, a "red carpet" screening, an over-21 event for young professionals, or something in-between? Is it popcorn and a movie? Screening with a suite of speakers? Or a prelude to hands-on activities for teachers or kids?

3. Use Dream Big’s resources —logos, photos, and artwork—to enhance your event and promotional efforts.

4. Determine the best time of day—a weekday afternoon, evening or weekend morning? Consider audience availability and ticket or rental fees before finalizing.

5. Consider other museum offerings. Does the event require more than the theater and/or its lobby? What about an exhibit hall at the museum? An outdoor green space or a classroom?

6. Create a fun "film premiere" vibe with a red carpet, swag bags, a selfie station, and other fun ideas.

7. Find out if the museum has other engineering related programming you can tie to your event. Do they do teacher trainings? Is there an engineering exhibit?

8. Negotiate ticket sales or theater rental, catering, etc. Obtain sponsorships, if needed.

A Few More Details

  • Find out if a theater near you is showing the film.

  • Museums: Promote your facility and amenities to engineering-related companies and organizations.

  • If your local giant screen (IMAX®) theater is not showing Dream Big, contact DiscoverE to learn how you can host a screening in your community.

Featured Workshop

What’s one of the most essential skills for engineers? Communication! Just as Dream Big shows how engineers solve problems to build safer and stronger communities, all engineers have to be able to describe their solutions, even to someone who is not an engineer. Lights! Camera! Engineering! is a day-long workshop where students plan, shoot and edit a short digital video about engineering.

Blueprint for Success

1. The activity is for students in 6th grade and above and is best done at a location which offers interesting backdrops and props for filming.

2. Review the detailed instructions to determine how to plan for and structure your movie-making workshop.

3. Use iPad and iMovie technology if possible. Check and re-check the technology to make sure it works!    

4. Make your own movie in advance to become more familiar with the process.

5. Include an engineer at the workshop to answer content-related questions as students prepare their stories and shoot their films.

6. Connect the experience of making a movie with the engineering design process.

A Few More Details

  • Extend the experience beyond one day to give students more time to edit and shape their final film stories (which will produce higher quality results).

  • Consider using engineers, university students, museum staff or sponsoring organizations to judge the final films. Offer prizes such as tickets to see Dream Big.

Engineers Week

DiscoverE’s annual celebration of engineering is a great opportunity to showcase the Dream Big film. Join the volunteers, educators and organizations around the world that celebrate engineers and engage students. Mark your calendar for Engineers Week 2019, February 17th to 23rd. 

Blueprint for Success

1. Start with events and activities that are already being planned for Engineers Week. Are there Future City competitions, career days, large events, lab days or classroom visits planned? Ask: How can you use Dream Big to support and amplify these efforts?

2. Bring your Future City teams to see the Dream Big film. Offer tickets to Dream Big as a prize at outreach or company events. Or, host a teacher appreciation evening for STEM engineering teachers at the local museum with a screening and refreshments. These are just a few ideas to consider.

3. Create links between the engineering presented in the film and the activities that are being planned for Engineers Week.

4. Use Dream Big as a springboard to highlight the different types of engineering happening in your community by engaging with a variety of engineering societies or companies.

5. Museums can integrate the Dream Big film into a museum-wide series of programs and events, plan special screenings, use hands-on activities in demos, invite families to participate in design challenge exhibits and maker/tinker activities.

6. Consider adding an engineering component to existing exhibits at the museum, screen the film at an engineering camp-in, or invite young engineers like those in the film to speak to visitors.

7. Be sure to invite students and non-traditional audiences to participate.

8. Don’t stop when February is over. Get ideas for celebrating engineering and engaging students year-round

A Few More Details

  • Contact DiscoverE to connect with to your local engineering community or museum.

  • Learn more about Engineers Week.

  • Encourage your engineers and engineering student volunteers to sign up as Girl Day Role Models.

  • Get more Engineers Week ideas from this chapter of the Museum Guide. 

  • Get more Engineers Week ideas from this chapter of the Engineers Guide.

Year-Round Engineering

Every day is a great day to engage students in engineering! Whether it is a regular Monday, Earth Day, the regional finals for the Future City Competition or Mother’s Day you can use Dream Big and its activities to showcase engineering.

Blueprint for Success

1. Program Build a Bobsled Racer on your museum floor to celebrate the Winter Olympics, host a mother/daughter Design a Shoe event for Mother’s Day or infuse your summer camp with engineering using Build a Roller CoasterHigh Dive and Foil Boats

2. Download the Activity Matrix for at-a-glance connections to seasonal and special events or browse through Dream Big's library of over 50 activities or more inspiration.

3. Bring together museum staff, representatives from the local engineering community and education groups to share ideas and plan activities and events.

4. Research what events and activities are already being planned in your community. Are there competitions, large community events or other special happenings in your community where you can host related engineering activities?

5. Host training workshops for teachers. Possible topics include:

  • Showing teachers how they can link engineering to their existing curriculum.
  • Creating topic-specific workshops built around the Dream Big activities.

6. Promote the year-round events collaboratively (with museums, engineers, organizations and university students).

A Few More Details

  • After reviewing Dream Big resources noted above, brainstorm more opportunities for year-round programming. Your experience in programming and with target audiences is a rich resource.

  • Contact DiscoverE to connect with resources in your community.

Want more information about DiscoverE’s resources and programs? Check all that apply:

Calling All Educators

We need educators to test the Dream Big lesson plans in their classrooms and complete a brief survey. The first 100 qualified educators who complete the study earn a $50 Amazon gift card.

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