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Outreach Communications. OCN 750: Class Project . Why is science communication important?. U.S. currently ranked 25 th in math, and 17 th in science among developed nations Encourage more students into math and science careers

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Outreach Communications

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outreach communications

Outreach Communications

OCN 750: Class Project

why is science communication important
Why is science communication important?
  • U.S. currently ranked 25th in math, and 17th in science among developed nations
  • Encourage more students into math and science careers
  • Decrease the knowledge gap between public and professional scientists
  • Better informed political choices regarding science policy and other important decisions




why i chose to work on my communication skills
Why I chose to work on my communication skills
  • Only scientist in my family (except for 7 year old nephew who wants to be a “rock scientist”)
  • Wanted to be able to explain what I do to my family and friends more effectively
  • Help with my teaching skills and refine the ability to simplify scientific principles to a broader, and more general audience


how can we improve our science communication skills
How can we improve our science communication skills?
  • Experience!!!
  • I took part of three different outreach activities throughout the semester, each addressing science communication to people with different levels of previous scientific knowledge
  • First, was a science communications piece with a student journalist at University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • During this interview I was asked my opinion on multiple questions. From this experience I learned that with science communication, even when expressing your opinion, it is best to base your opinions off scientific evidence.



waikiki seahunt
Waikiki SeaHunt
  • ~500 children (ages 1-7)
  • Helped facilitate five of the outreach box activities, including ; “plankton toss game”, “penny plop”, “knot tying”, “what microbe are you?”, and “air & ocean pressure”
  • From volunteering at this event I realized how effective hands on activities are in getting across abstract topics to younger kids
  • It was very different from my interviewing experience, I had to work work on much more general concentps concepts

Photo Credit: Jackie Mueller

p 20 outreach project
P-20 Outreach Project
  • Hawai’i P-20 Partnership for Education is a program that is “working to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve career and college success”
  • Middle school career day, May 16th, 2013
  • Asked to plan a lab tour/exercise for 2 groups of ~ 15 students that would last 45 minutes each, and would effectively explain the type of research I do
  • These students are 6th-8th graders andfrom my experience at the Waikiki SeaHunt I realized a hands on activity would be most effective
terrarium exercise and lab tour
Terrarium Exercise and Lab Tour
  • Developed terrarium exercise where students can make their own self-sustaining ecosystem within a 2-Liter bottle
  • With the hands-on terrarium exercise and use of a whiteboard students will get a better understanding of concepts like photosynthesis, cell respiration and the carbon cycle
  • I will then give the students a tour of our lab, with a focus on the chamber room where we have some fern growth experiments going on right now


terrarium exercise and lab tour1
Terrarium Exercise and Lab Tour
  • David Latimer, with his terrarium that he planted back in 1960
  • It hasn’t been watered since 1972, over 40 years ago
  • The spiderwort plant inside has survived entirely from outside light, photosynthesis, respiration and nutrient recycling within the self-sustaining ecosystem