Working with Researchers

Vrylena Olney

Photo from the NISE Net Annual Meeting by Emily Maletz Graphic Design At the NISE Net Annual Meeting last September, we asked participants about their favorite nano educational experiences. Many talked about how exciting it is when researchers connect with the public. Here are a few examples of favorite experiences:

  • A researcher giving an engaging talk to the public about their own research in biomineralization. Great to hear current nano update from someone who is involved/passionate.
  • Sharing some of latest research with guests and friends.
  • Watching scientists present to the public for the first time and seeing how their attitudes change because of it.
  • Book reading by humanities faculty and students.
  • Scientist presenting demos
  • Graduate students presenting nanoscale science and engineering concepts and societal impacts.
  • Giving nanotech demonstrations to diverse audiences (Rotary clubs, science pubs, research students, NISE Net town meeting on nano).

And here are two more specific examples from the Museum of Science:

  • The Museum of Science conducted a two-part workshop series with Research Experiences for Undergraduates participants at Harvard, Northeastern, UMass Lowell, and the University of New Hampshire. The workshops were aimed at helping young researchers understand why good science communication is important, and guiding them toward becoming more effective science communicators. Activities included "elevator talks" where students explained their work to others in a short, informal talk, as well as practice presentations, where the students presented their research presentations and gave each other feedback. Much of the experience was centered on peer-to-peer communication and critiques. If you're interested in finding out more about this program or offering the workshop with your partners next summer, get in touch with Carol Lynn Alpert at calpert AT mos DOT org or Alex Fiorentino at afiorentino AT mos DOT org
  • The Museum of Science also conducted Sharing Science Workshops with graduate students from Northeastern, UMass Lowell, and the University of New Hampshire. These workshops were aimed at preparing the students for the outreach activities they will do at their own institutions, and providing them with communications skills to help them throughout their careers. Students learned nano-related facilitated activities (including several NanoDays kit demos) and practiced presenting them to each other. Students were encouraged to help each other become better communicators and give constructive feedback. In a second session for this workshop series, students will present their demonstrations on the MOS exhibit hall floor.

Feel free to post examples from your institution in the comments.