Informal Science Education for Scientists and Engineers [C]

Days and times (Fall 2020): Fridays, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Location: Online (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra; link will be shared with registrants)
Instructors: Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel and Matthew Stilwell
Credit: 2 credits, MSE 803
Satisfies prerequisite toward the Delta Certificate: Course

This course seeks to familiarize STEM graduate students and postdocs with the concepts, processes, and tools needed to successfully communicate scientific concepts with a variety of audiences in informal settings. Beyond providing basic communication skills, the course encourages participants to see these communication tools as part of an ongoing process of inquiry, much like the research they conduct in their own disciplines. Integrated throughout the semester will be:

(1) the importance of understanding your audience and the diversity of backgrounds and motivations individuals bring to the table;
(2) how to explain complex concepts and processes in a clear and interesting way;
(3) the design, production, and evaluation of an informal education product; and
(4) the breadth of informal science venues and modalities available to the general public.

The course merges experiential learning with critical reflection on public communication concepts, processes, and issues. We will interact with modalities such as radio, podcasts, science journalism, children’s books, museums, and outreach events; and we will explore how to communicate effectively with audiences ranging from K through grey.