October Monthly Themes

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October 2022 Monthly Theme: STEAM-Powered Parks

Full STEAM ahead with a celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, highlighting their inspirational history in parks and inviting everyone with ways to get involved today.

Here are some ideas to get your creativity flowing...

  • Engage on Social Media: Use #STEAMPower on your related social media posts this month. Remember to link back to content on NPS.gov or partner websites when possible.
  • Join the National Write Out: Write Out is a free two-week celebration of writing, making, and sharing inspired by the great outdoors hosted by the NPS. This year’s Write Out is October 9-23 and its theme is STEAM-Powered.
  • Inspire Involvement: Find STEAM-influenced careers or explore volunteering in STEAM fields. Share stories of your employees, interns, fellows, and volunteers in STEAM work.
  • Feature Current Research: Share articles and news about recent or ongoing STEAM research in parks and NPS programs.
    • Ask a Scientist/Engineer/Artist, etc.: Host a Facebook live session or pre-recorded session when the public can ask questions with an expert working in one of the STEAM fields live.
  • Show Progress (or Not): Use photos or comparisons of then and now to demonstrate how improvements have been made through STEAM; or a decline to show the value of the work that needs to be done.
  • Add the A to STEM: The arts are now being more widely incorporated into STEM celebrations. Here are ideas to make the connection between the arts and the sciences.
    • Work with your partner park to highlight art (paintings, sculptures, photography, etc.) in the park as a starting point for an art tour. You can also make the connections with art and the STEM fields past, present, and future.
    • Describe the role of art and artists in the creation of a park, describe what’s happening now, such as artists in parks, art used in science in parks, and more!
    • Invite people to create own art related to your partner park or program and submit or share it online.
    • Crowdsource art that expresses park stewardship or feelings, then make a virtual art display.
    • Highlight Parkitechture to connect arts with STEM.

STEAM Days

Join days throughout October (and beyond) to have interactive or live activities, programs, and events around STEAM topics on your social media or on site. Here are a few ideas:

  • STEAM Saturdays (#STEAMSaturdays)
    • Highlight research or other work of STEAM professionals or interpreters, maybe through an interactive virtual exhibit.
    • Spotlight unseen STEAM careers or projects in your organization that support parks’ success.
    • Talk soundscapes, such as mapping the sound of where you are, and sharing the importance of soundscapes.
    • Focus on airsheds, viewsheds, and night skies. Work with your partner park to host a star party!
    • Highlight the science of monitoring, such as wildlife, stream levels, etc.
  • Mapping Monday (#MappingMondays)
    • Sound mapping, map talks live or virtual in parks, map-based exploration, virtual journeys, journaling, mind mapping, mapping possibilities
  • What We Do Wednesdays (#WhatWeDoWednesdays)
    • Highlight individual or partnership activities that deal with STEAM concepts
  • Wildlife Wednesdays (#WildlifeWednesdays)
  • New Tech Thursdays
    • Highlight the tech that we use to function including gps collars, telemetry, monitoring equipment for air, water. As an example, people have been amazed at the tech used to monitor geyser eruptions in the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone.

More October Themes & Activities

Every month, the National Park Service celebrates different national holidays and initiatives that provide opportunities to share our mission through websites, social media, and other platforms. Find information on a related topic on NPS.gov, hashtags that national parks are using, and other messaging tools to use on these special days.

Fall Foliage

September 15–October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month

October 1–31: LGBT History Month

  • Social media hashtags: #LGBTQ, #Pride

October 1–31: National Arts and Humanities Month

October 1–31: National Community Planning Month

October 1–31: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 1–31: National Energy Action Month

October 1–31: Polish American Heritage Month

October 1: International Day of Older Persons

  • Social media hashtag: #ParksForAll

October 2: Anniversaries of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and National Trails Act

October 3: World Habitat Day

  • Social media hashtag: #ParkHabitats

October 4: World Animal Day

October 5: World Teachers Day

October 9-15: Earth Science Week

October 9-15: National Fire Prevention Week

  • Fire
  • Social media hashtags: #Fire Safety, #FirePreventionWeek

October 9-23: National Write Out

October 10: World Mental Health Day

October 11: Columbus Day

October 11: Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 11: International Day of the Girl Child

October 11: National Coming Out Day

October 12: National Fossil Day

October 15: Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

October 24–31: Bat Week

Last updated: October 4, 2022