Science Education Partners

Overview

As a Science Education Partner at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, science graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will participate in a multi-day, in-person training in informal science communication for public audiences, with a focus this year on reaching K–12 students and their teachers. With an emphasis on their own research, participants will build compelling narratives to share science topics with a diverse audience through webinar presentations and question and answer sessions. Our goal is to connect the professional experience of our museum education staff with the science expertise of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Together, we can build the effectiveness of public science communication here at Harvard and engage the public in scientific thinking at the edge of new discoveries.

Program Details

January Science Education Partners Training

  • January 12, 14, 19, 21, 2022, 9:00-11:00 am: two-hour in-person trainings
  • January 26, 27, or 28, 2022: one Zoom-based prototyping session

Topics will include how people learn and understanding audience needs. You will practice carefully refining your message, presentation skills, and question and answer facilitation. Time will be allocated for brainstorming, prototyping, and reflection. By the end of the training, participants will have created a video webinar presentation that can be shared with K–12 classrooms.

 

Virtual Scientist in a Classroom Program

Following the training, participants will join our Virtual Scientist in a Classroom Program. This program allows K–12 teachers to share the video webinars created during the January training with their students and request a thirty-minute long, live question-and-answer session for their classroom with a Science Education Partner of their choosing. This is an opportunity for Science Education Partners to engage in dialogue with and gain insights into diverse audiences. Sessions are scheduled at a time that works for both the classroom and the Science Education Partner.

Reflection Session: March, TBD

Join your peers for a quick discussion on how the Virtual Scientist in a Classroom Program sessions are going and how to make them better.

Outcomes

After participating in the Science Education Partners program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain their research clearly to the public in a way that is engaging, understandable, relevant, and that inspires curiosity
  • Consider their audience and present effectively to diverse groups
  • Create visually appealing presentations that are appropriate and engaging for a non-technical audience
  • Connect their research to the larger context of people’s daily lives.
  • Modify their approach based on feedback and reflection

Who Is Encouraged to Apply

  • Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in public outreach
  • Graduate students or postdoctoral researchers participating in Broader Impact projects
  • Former Science Education Partners wanting to apply their skills in a new way

How to Apply

Participants will be accepted via a nomination process through their department chairs. Interested applicants should contact their departments.

Contact Arielle Moon (arielleascrizzi@hmsc.harvard.edu) or Wendy Derjue-Holzer (wderjue@hmsc.harvard.edu) with questions about the content or logistics of the training.