Science in Unexpected Places: Innovative Ways to Engage the Public

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Wilson B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Numerous studies point to a disconnect between science and society and to a perceived lack of interest in science among the general public. Misperceptions about science abound, leading one panelist during a previous symposium on funding science communication to ask: Do we need to fundamentally change science communication? Perhaps we don’t need to completely change science communication, but broadening the definition to include science education might help. What if we sought to improve science literacy by embracing the idea that science is best learned through practice? Learning by doing lies at the core of the Next Generation Science Standards. While meant as a guide for formal science learning in K-12 classrooms, it applies equally to learners of all ages in all settings. This symposium highlights several innovative programs that communicate science to a broad cross-section of the public in new and unexpected places, from commuters on an urban transportation system to families visiting their local parks. Panelists provide case studies of effective partnerships that connect people with hands-on and experiential science learning, and share data on how an innovative communication strategy on the Boston subway system significantly improved people’s understanding of climate change. The session concludes with a discussion about ways to better connect science communication and science education.
Jennifer Cutraro, WGBH Educational Foundation
Russ Campbell, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University
Jason Urroz, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Using Parks as Natural Classrooms
Jennifer Cutraro, WGBH Educational Foundation
Science in the City
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