Friday, February 17, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 214 (VCC West Building)Many resources exist to help scientists share knowledge and perspectives with the public. This session will focus on recent work to develop resources for public outreach, make them broadly available internationally, and support their use. The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), has created an annual NanoDays event that takes place at science museums and research centers nationwide, an online catalog of exhibit and program ideas and materials, and a network hub structure for supporting public outreach at hundreds of sites. Another NSF-funded project, Science and Math Informal Learning Educators, has created a community that contributes to an online collection of math and science activities available worldwide free of charge as a pathway of the National Science Digital Library. The Association of Science-Technology Centers represents science museums throughout the world with nearly 600 members in 45 countries. Scientists working with science-technology centers can reach a broad public audience. The NSF also provides grants for “communicating research to public audiences” to scientists holding active research grants. Partnerships between science museums and research centers have led to new educational opportunities for university students and scientists to strengthen their science communication skills through workshops, development of public presentations, and on-the-floor participation in public outreach activities.
Larry Bell, Museum of Science