Creating a New Identity: Transitioning from Research to Outreach

The following series is based off The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program’s presentation at the annual AAAS meeting, presented in San Jose, CA by Jeanne Garbarino, Elizabeth Waters, and Ali Cohen. The goals for this presentation and blog post series are to introduce science outreach, how to get started in science outreach, and how to leverage science outreach for professional development. Find your authentic voice when creating your new identity. Images: http://bit.ly/18hqFB7 & http://bit.ly/1vv70rs Written by Elizabeth Waters, PhD, Lead Scientist for The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program You are s scientist who is transitioning into a career in science education, and you find the advertisement for your dream job: A PhD in education, science, technology, or math preferred; A track record in innovative and results-oriented leadership; Exceptional written and oral communications skills; Knowledge of education best practices from across various STEM disciplines; understanding of diverse pedagogical approaches to education, familiarity with learning styles and developmental stages; an ability to bring to bear a broad range of educational tools and methods; facility with creating innovative, personal, and high-touch educational experiences for diverse audiences; A network and working relationships in the STEM education sector; Specialization in one or more STEM domains:

My Graduate Career: How one student is using science outreach for professional development

The following series is based off The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program’s presentation at the annual AAAS meeting, presented in San Jose, CA by Jeanne Garbarino, Elizabeth Waters, and Ali Cohen. The goals for this presentation and blog post series are to introduce science outreach, how to get started in science outreach, and how to leverage science outreach for professional development. WCMC student Ali Cohen participating in science outreach for career development Written by Ali Cohen, WCMC Graduate Student and Sackler Fellow  I discovered the flavor of science outreach as an undergraduate, when I taught elementary and middle school girls from underserved communities simple science lessons. Finding this type of experience was not obvious to me when I got to graduate school, and by the end of my first year, I really missed having the opportunity to spread my enthusiasm for science and debunk any preconceived notions of science being scary or inaccessible. To help fulfill this unmet need in my life, I went about trying to find ways to bring more of these opportunities to my graduate school community. In doing so, I’ve learned a few things about integrating science outreach into an academic setting, and discovered career

Doing Science Outreach: The Basics

The following series is based off The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program’spresentation at the annual AAAS meeting, presented in San Jose, CA byJeanne Garbarino, Elizabeth Waters, and Ali Cohen. The goals for this presentation and blog post series are to introduce science outreach, how to get started in science outreach, and how to leverage science outreach for professional development.   Jeanne Garbarino working with NYC's Camp G.O.A.L.S. for Girls group Aligning yourself to make a productive impact is the preferred goal when it comes to engaging with non-scientific audiences. To do this, it is important to have a plan – think about what points you want to make, the type of language you should use, how the message will be delivered, etc… Putting yourself out there can be stressful, but a little prep work beforehand can take you a long way. Regardless of whether you are joining established science outreach activities, or are interested in creating new science outreach content, there are several points to keep in mind that will help keep you on track. Identify your message Science is BIG. Practically everything and everyone can be explained in some sort of scientific terms. But trying to present

So You Want To Do Science Outreach: Getting Started

The following series is based off The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program’s presentation at the annual AAAS meeting, presented in San Jose, CA by Jeanne Garbarino, Elizabeth Waters, and Ali Cohen. The goals for this presentation and blog post series are to introduce science outreach, how to get started in science outreach, and how to leverage science outreach for professional development. Teaching kids about the importance of science safety Science Outreach can be accomplished at varying degrees of involvement or commitment. Whether you are more interested in one-off, plug-and-play type of experiences that suit a demanding work schedule, or are interested in a more regular commitment, science outreach experience adds value to your professional portfolio. The entry points for getting involved are probably more obvious than you think! Here is how you can find something that works for your schedule and goals: Figure Out What You Want to Get Out of It It is quite obvious that science outreach often benefits the recipients of the outreach effort. However, getting involved in science outreach does not have to be entirely altruistic. Because the concept of “science outreach” is incredibly broad, it is possible to construct a narrative of science outreach

Expanding Your Professional Marketability Through Science Outreach

The following series is based off The Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program's presentation at the annual AAAS meeting, presented in San Jose, CA by Jeanne Garbarino, Elizabeth Waters, and Ali Cohen. The goals for this presentation and blog post series are to introduce science outreach, how to get started in science outreach, and how to leverage science outreach for professional development. Letting kids experiment with circuits at Science Saturday, the annual family science festival at The Rockefeller University Gone are the days when getting an advanced degree in science or engineering likely meant a career as an academic researcher. Given the increasing number of science and engineering degrees awarded each year, coupled with a near stagnant academic job market, it is clear that developing transferable skills while training is paramount. However, because of a variety of reasons such as workload, mentor support, and/or availability of resources, it can sometimes be difficult to pursue professional interests outside of the lab. One relatively straightforward mechanism to gain soft skills is to participate in science outreach efforts. Science outreach, in basic terms, indicates the goal of raising awareness of science-related topics to an audience of non-scientists. This can be interpreted in many

Why I use video games to teach science.

by Melanie Stegman Everyone knows how to kill zombies. Why don't people know how to kill measles? I think that a few bits of molecular detail are all that stands between our current society and one in which the average person truly appreciates modern biomedical science. It is just the proteins we need to learn about. We don't need to memorize all 50,000 - 100,000 different proteins in and around our cells, just understand protein behavior in general. This way, news stories about proteins will be easier to understand. Proteins are the heroes of stories about vaccinations, genetically modified foods, personalized medicine, evolution, depression, and happiness. I think that most of us got through grade school and high school without learning about proteins. We learn that cells make energy, that proteins are building blocks, that atoms make up everything. We know that viruses invade our cells and that cholesterol is bad , but we don't really have a clear idea of how all this actually happens. I am just hear to say, how all this happens is not that hard to understand. Molecular cell biology is a cute, rule based system that really sticks to its rules. Things work in biology

The successes and limitations of brain-computer interface technology

...and why we don’t all have badass robotic exoskeletons by Claire Warriner Philadelphia, 1999. A thirsty lab rat vigorously presses the lever in its cage. This act causes a swinging robotic arm to deliver a droplet of water to within reach of the rat’s parched tongue. At the same time, an array of electrodes implanted it the animal’s motor cortex records the activity of about 30 neurons, the neural signals that drive the lever-pressing behavior. As this sequence is repeated, researchers in the Nicolelis Lab amass enough information to form a computational model of the signal that drives the movement. They then switch control of the water-delivery arm from depression of the lever to the rat’s neural signals—and the arm still works. As the rat’s brain continues to issue that specific signal pattern, the robotic arm continues to deliver water droplets. After a few trials, the rat doesn’t even bother to press the lever anymore, it instead rests its white, murine* arm casually on the lever. It perhaps realizes that the actual physical manifestation of its intent is unnecessary: it is now controlling the robotic arm with its brain1. And thus was the advent of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs. A year

Hacking the Life Sciences Classroom

This post is mirrored from The FabLearn Fellows Blog. by Jaymes Dec I recently helped to coordinate a “hackathon” with the Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program in part to address these questions: How can “making” or “STEAM” play out in the Life Sciences classroom? What role can digital design and fabrication tools have in the Life Sciences Classroom? How can physical computing tools and creative coding contribute to the Life Sciences classroom? On a Saturday, we gathered about 30 educators, mostly life sciences teachers, but also technology and art teachers, from the NYC area. We had about 50% public teacher participation. We also invited 30 prominent biologists, biohackers, and engineers to spend the day tinkering, exploring, and prototyping project ideas with an abundance of materials and tools. Here is that list of supplies. The morning started with a few short presentations in an auditorium. I spoke about Digital Design/Fabrication, and Physical/Creative Computing. My slides are here. Then we had Sebastian Kraves and Zeke Alvarez-Saavedra from miniPCR give a presentation about their project to make DNA amplification through the Polymerase Chain Reaction accessible to anyone. Finally, Sarah Weisberg from the BioBus, gave a presentation on their travelling Bio Lab and the MiScope, a portable

Why I (probably) Won’t Catch Ebola

This post is mirrored from the author's blog The Frawlicking Rambler. by Robert Frawley There is a lot of concern about Ebola and rightfully so. It is a terrible disease, spreading exponentially in three West African countries, and to contain the spread we must bring aid to West Africa. The threat is less imminent here in the US though, even with a handful of cases. The virus is deadly, but you can survive with good medical treatment. Regarding transmission, you hear the chances are very low of incidental contact; the things you hear are reassuring but might not make total sense. The virus is different than AIDS, than measles, than Herpes and to understand where to allocate our fear and our resources I thought, why not put some time this week into discussing the virus and how it works. Where does Ebola come from? Fruit bats, we think.  Bats are not affected by the virus but they can carry it.  Humans can contract it from the bats, animals infected by the bats, or other humans.  Before 2014 less than 2,000 cases had ever been documented.  Typically, interspecies transmission is rare.  Most animals do not present with Ebola symptoms though some may

Thinking Globally about Science

by Rupa R. Ram and Paul Dominic B. Olinares There are many global challenges that have a foundation in science and technology including climate change, resource scarcity, infectious diseases, and international instability from nations in conflict. The role of scientists in resolving these challenges is not always clear. Science diplomacy (SD) is the conversation at the intersection of science and policy, where scientists, engineers, and policy makers come together to navigate the sometimes muddy geopolitical waters that hinder finding solutions to the issues at hand. According to New Frontiers in Science Diplomacy, a report published by the Royal Society in 2010, science diplomacy has three dimensions: 1. “Science in Diplomacy” to form foreign policy objectives, 2. “Diplomacy for Science,” which facilitates international scientific cooperation including between nations in conflict with the hope of improving political relations. These lead to 3. “Science for Diplomacy,” which builds on the generally highly regarded reputation of scientists in society as objective and unbiased to bypass political issues and build consensus towards problem solving. Despite its trendy name, SD has been practiced for decades. A prominent and ongoing example is the International Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Pugwash

Physics with Phil: Information Theory

Photo: soihub.org   If the 21st century is the age of information, then "information theory" must be important, right? But what is information theory and what is it good for? On this episode of Physics with Phil, we talk about the basics of information theory, and how it can be used for applications as varied as telephone calls and making fly embryos. We also discuss the work of May-Britt and Edvard Moser, who discovered grid cells, for which they were just awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine! Addendum: The related work of Vijay Balasubramanian has now been published at http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.0031, and the paper by the Mosers can be found in Nature (2012) 492: 72.