Monthly Archives: February 2018

Planting a SEED to STEM careers

Schedule for eblast on APRIL 12, 2018, immediately after Berkeley 4/11 chapter meeting.

SEED, a program designed to help promising disadvantaged youth launch science careers, is seeking mentoring help from technical communicators. The California Section of the American Chemical Society’s Summer Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged (SEED) program  is:

  • A nation-wide program run by the American Chemical Society
  • A chemistry-oriented, hands-on research internship program
  • Focused on low-income high school students who are paid for participating over 1-2 summers
  • Full-time work for 9 weeks under the supervision of scientist mentors in industry, academia, and government labs

Dr. Elaine Yamaguchi is the retired but tireless Coordinator for the California Section of SEED, which is the second largest program in the US, thanks to her volunteer efforts for the past 35 years. In 2017, five CA Section students won college scholarships after completing their chemistry internships, more than any of the nation’s other SEED programs.

Now, interested members of northern California STC chapters have an opportunity to directly increase the number of student scholarships by helping a SEED student  write compellingly about his or her summer intership in the application form. 

SEED welcomes any STC member who is willing to provide editoral support in the late fall for two important scholarship application answers. Making 350 words in two boxes sing is no great effort for us. But the outcome of a couple hours and a few emails with a SEED student could result in a life-changing transformation for a budding young chemist’s college prospects.

The SEED-STC partnership was instigated by past EBSTC president Liz Miller, who has been supporting the Chevron-sponsored activities behind Elaine’s program since 2015. “Providing writing and adminstrative support is extremely gratifying to me because I know I’m helping open doors for every student who participates,” she says. “It’s impossible not to be inspired by Elaine’s passion and dedication. Creating an opportunity for STC to contribute seemed like a natural fit.”

Learn more about the STC partnership in this short presentation prepared by Liz, Planting a SEED to STEM career. Once you are inspired, contact Elaine and CC Liz Miller.

Marketing and Tech-writing: The Twain Shall Meet [Feb. 2018 Meeting Recap]

Are tech-writing and marketing doomed to forever mix about as fluidly as, well, oil and water? If you were at the East Bay STC’s Feb. 1 dinner get-together, you heard a technical-marketing guru provide a more harmonious perspective.

Our presenter, Floyd Earl Smith, works at NGINX (pronounced “engine-x”) and bears the title Director of Content Marketing, which he comes to after gigs as a senior tech-writer at Apple, Google, Visa and AltaVista.
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How to thrive as a technical writer on a scrum team – 1 March 2018 [Meeting]

A common misconception about scrum is that it doesn’t value documentation. This presentation will cover the principles of scrum, providing an explanation of how this misconception occurred and how you can demonstrate the value that you bring to the team. We will also explore some skills, many of which you might already have, that will help you thrive as a technical writer in a scrum environment.

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