1. Lorena Medina Luna
  2. Education and Outreach Specialist
  3. NCAR Explorer Series
  4. https://ncar.ucar.edu/what-we-offer/education-outreach/public/ncar-explorer-series
  5. National Center for Atmospheric Research
  1. Chris Davis
  2. Interim Director NCAR Education and Outreach
  3. NCAR Explorer Series
  4. https://ncar.ucar.edu/what-we-offer/education-outreach/public/ncar-explorer-series
  5. National Center for Atmospheric Research
  1. Daniel Zietlow
  2. Educational Designer
  3. NCAR Explorer Series
  4. https://ncar.ucar.edu/what-we-offer/education-outreach/public/ncar-explorer-series
  5. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Provare Media
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 10, 2021 | 08:54 p.m.

    Thank you all for taking the time to watch our video on the work we’ve been doing with the NCAR Explorer Series! As we expand and grow the series, our team would be particularly interested in sparking discussion on the following:

    1. Does this video make you want to learn more about NCAR and what research we support?  What aspects of the Earth system are you interested in learning more about?
    2. As we think forward to in-person education and outreach events again, what are your plans to ensure virtual engagement continues at your institution?  Are there any ways to combine “the best of both worlds?”
    3. How do you market your events to specifically reach new audiences?
  • Icon for: Chip Bruce

    Chip Bruce

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 08:00 a.m.

    I'm impressed with your systematic approach to making more engaging outreach.

    You mention the use of surveys. I'm interested in what you've learned from those. Also, have you considered supplementing with other methods, such as 1:1 interviews (even video-based) or focus groups?

     

  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 11, 2021 | 07:29 p.m.

    Hi Chip -

    Thanks for your comment!  Our analysis of the surveys is an on-going process, but we're seeing a few trends over the past year.  Particularly in terms of reaching more out-of-state viewers and reaching more college-aged viewers.  Most people also indicate an increased interest in science and engineering.  We have not considered doing 1:1 interviews or focus groups.  Have you used them before and if so, what was your experience like?

    Cheers, Dan

  • Icon for: Chip Bruce

    Chip Bruce

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 12, 2021 | 04:06 p.m.

    Each method has its pluses and minuses (no big surprise there). I found that 1:1 interviews can be a total bust or high revealing.

    For example, in an evaluation of Physics Van at the U Illinois, we found a big unexpected impact on teachers, even though the program was initially designed for students. One English teacher said she loved it. 

    I asked her why, expecting something like making connections to sci-fi literature. She said it had little to do with direct teaching ideas. Instead it reminded her of why she'd gone into teaching in the first place, to learn about the world. It wasn't composition or English literature but it recharged her as a teacher to engage with cool ideas. That's one the best outcomes one could hope for.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Rita Karl
  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 13, 2021 | 10:08 a.m.

    That's great!  That's certainly something I've been trying to explore more - creating content that doesn't seem all that "science-y" at first glance, but is actually teaching you a science topic.

  • Icon for: Brian Kruse

    Brian Kruse

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:16 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project!  It is wonderful how you are using it to reach out into more diverse communities.  How do you address misconceptions about Earth systems and not just inundate people with data they likely don't have sufficient background to truly understand?

  • Icon for: Lorena Medina Luna

    Lorena Medina Luna

    Lead Presenter
    Education and Outreach Specialist
    May 11, 2021 | 12:52 p.m.

    Hi Brian, Thank you for your question. I think it's important to create an inclusive environment for conversations about science topics, and how these impact communities.

    Our guests have traditionally been older audiences, high school to college to retired folks. So we have various science backgrounds from people who are interested and want to learn about a new topic to people who have previously worked in this field and want to see what new advances are taking place in the field. 

    We work with our scientists ahead of each event to talk through who the audience is, making the talks or conversations overarching with how does this science fit into the grand scheme of things, then going into more details about how scientists collect data. We also ask scientists not to shy away from talking about their own contributions to the field (if they helped advance a scientific technique, new ways of thinking of the problem, etc). We also share resources available through NCAR/UCAR programs where our guests can learn more beyond the event. And lastly we end conversations now with some advice for those who are interested pursuing these careers. Making these events and conversations about science personal can help bring in audiences at various levels. 

  • Icon for: Shakuntala Gopal

    Shakuntala Gopal

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 09:33 a.m.

    Fabulous video! I am interested in this thread in particular because my question is whether you partner at all with formal educators/schools to share this information and host events in connection to school curricula? 

  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 12, 2021 | 10:05 a.m.

    Hi Shakuntala -

    Thanks!  With the Kids Science Show we've put on in the past, we definitely shared that info with formal educators to encourage attendance (when it was in person and virtual).  While many of our other events tend to focus on older audiences, we've found that we've had younger students show up from time-to-time and really enjoy the presentation.  We have other team members, too, from the UCAR Center for Science Education who concentrate exclusively on K12 and they offer a lot of great programs in connection with formal education.  Most recently, they've been hosting virtual Meet the Expert events.  They also support the GLOBE Weather Curriculum which directly relates to NGSS.

    Cheers, Dan

  • Icon for: Shakuntala Gopal

    Shakuntala Gopal

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 10:50 a.m.

    Amazing!!

  • Icon for: Nancy Staus

    Nancy Staus

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher, STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 11:37 a.m.

    This video definitely piqued my interest about NCAR! I noticed that some of the presentations were in Spanish. Have you translated all of the presentations? Do you have evidence that this has increased diversity and inclusion for your project?

  • Icon for: Lorena Medina Luna

    Lorena Medina Luna

    Lead Presenter
    Education and Outreach Specialist
    May 11, 2021 | 12:58 p.m.

    Hi Nancy, we are trying to increase and broaden participation in our public programming events through the Explorer Series by increasing the language access to Spanish speakers. We don't have our events translated into Spanish, but rather are hosting Spanish events.

    I think one important thing to consider is that when creating events for different audiences, is important to create events in a culturally inclusive way to present the desired information. Translating from English to a different language doesn't always reach audiences the same way as one would like, because the event was created for a specific audience in mind. 

    Because we are still building our network to reach Spanish audiences for our Spanish events, we will have more information on how creating events for Spanish speaking audiences is increasing diversity and inclusion in the future. For now, I have seen positive responses to the events we have hosted, which is great!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Rita Karl
  • May 11, 2021 | 11:39 a.m.

    Great video for a really interesting project - thanks for sharing! 

    I'm interested in how you've managed to simplify the science for general audiences including down to elementary students. Many of the Explorer Series topics I've seen have showcased fairly complex science but the video showcases some young student audience members. How do you work with scientists to ensure that even elementary students will understand the topics? 

    I'd also be interested in how you market your events to reach broader audiences, as well as the impacts you see from your evaluation surveys. 

    Keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing this video with us!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Lorena Medina Luna

    Lorena Medina Luna

    Lead Presenter
    Education and Outreach Specialist
    May 11, 2021 | 01:09 p.m.

    Hi Katie, Thank you for your comment and questions.

    We work with our scientists and guest presenters ahead of each event to ensure that the information presented meets the audience that we are trying to reach. For example with young kids, elementary - middle school, we don't host a formal science lecture, but rather we hosted for example a Kids Science Show where science is presented in a different manner. For the kids science show, we hosted a guest scientist who works specifically to engage this age group in science activities. He did a great job in asking kids to think critically about the science that is taking place rather than just presenting the "cool factor" of science. It's surprising how engaged kids can be when presented with tough science topics! Intentional planning for events is definitely important to reach the intended audience. 

    We also work with our scientists to reach audiences at various levels - from people in high school to retired folk who have worked in this field, and lifelong learners. Engaging audiences through the impact the science has on their communities can be an impactful way to connect what is being presented to questions that may have come up in their every-day lives. --> Please see our response to Brian Cruise where we talk a bit more about this. 

    For marketing events, we have an email list serve specifically for NCAR/UCAR events, and also use social media and professional organization community boards to share information about events. We use Eventbrite as a platform to host "reservations" - both in person and now virtual world - and this allows us to communicate with guests who register through email updates, surveys post event, and updates on any potential rescheduling of events.  

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Shihadah Saleem
    Kathryn (Katie) Boyd
  • Icon for: Lorena Medina Luna

    Lorena Medina Luna

    Lead Presenter
    Education and Outreach Specialist
    May 11, 2021 | 12:45 p.m.

    Hi Everyone, thank you for taking the time to watch our video about the NCAR Explorer Series, a program to engage with the general public about science topics that impact their communities. We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts about

    1) engaging with audiences of different ages,

    2) creating inclusive science programs for diverse audiences,

    3) creating culturally relevant and appropriate events for engaging with diverse communities. 

    Thank you for your questions and responses, and I hope we can learn how to keep improving our program through the years!

    -Lorena

  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 11, 2021 | 04:49 p.m.

    Such a great and diverse way to engage varied audiences, kudos. I enjoyed seeing a diversity in staff, and presumably in your audiences. How are you able to sustain interest and attendance throughout the school year for your series?

  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 11, 2021 | 07:37 p.m.

    Hi Shihadah -

    Thanks for your feedback and question!  At the beginning of the pandemic, we definitely tried a few different times for the event to see what worked best for parents/kids and then older students and lifelong learners.  We found mid-morning and just after the work day ends to be pretty popular.  We also started to leverage our University Community more to advertise certain events.  For instance, when we knew an event topic coincided with something that was being taught in a university class around the same time, we reached out to the professor who would then invite the class to the Explorer Series event.  It'll definitely be interesting to see how to best adapt our virtual events once K-12 and universities are mostly back in-person!

    Cheers, Dan

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Daniel Serrano

    Daniel Serrano

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 06:35 p.m.

    Great to see another informal education/multimedia-oriented project here!

    Some of the previous comments have partially addressed these questions but I was hoping to get a bit more specific details on them:

    How do you go about recruiting attendees to your events? Do you use existing NCAR networks/databases?

    Did your recruitment strategies change when you pivoted to virtual events?

    Would you have any advice for our team, who's trying to hold similar types of virtual events for students and their families, but we're not housed in a center with pre-established connections and visibility?

  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 13, 2021 | 10:30 a.m.

    Totally!  I was stoked to see y'all's work as it's something we've also been thinking about - connecting with the Hispanic/Latinx community, but about geoscience instead of physics.  Granted, there's a lot of overlap between the two fields.  For your questions:

    - We do recruitment in a few different ways, but it all stems from our existing NCAR|UCAR network.  With the Explorer Series, we're really focused on highlighting either scientists/engineers/educators based at NCAR|UCAR, or collaborators on NCAR-supported projects based at member Universities.  Every year, we receive nominations from lab directors for speakers, and then we also reach out specifically to a scientist/engineer/educator if there is something happening in the news that they could speak to.

    - With the pivot to virtual events, it really allowed us to recruit from our entire network, instead of just people close to Boulder.  For instance, we were able to have a panel discussion on hail with scientists we worked with at Penn State.  Or, more recently, we invited one of the scientists we worked with on a field campaign in Argentina from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba to speak about hydrometeorology.  This has also allowed us to start offering more Spanish-language events.  I think it's helped recruitment from early career scientists, too.  We started offering different types of events besides our more traditional 1-hour lectures, making giving a talk or being on a panel more accessible to early career/grad students/postdocs, etc.

    - Do you all have any nearby museums or libraries that you could start talking to?  We've had good luck there where we could hold an event in collaboration with the museum and/or library and reach a different audience.  You could also try talking to different departments on campus, too.    I'll let you know if I have any other brainwaves.

     
    1
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    Daniel Serrano
  • Icon for: Daniel Serrano

    Daniel Serrano

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 02:06 p.m.

    Thanks, Daniel!

  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 12, 2021 | 07:02 p.m.

    Hi Daniel, that's a great way to incorporate the university community into the Explorer Series, it creates more opportunities for longevity and diversity of thought and participation. Onboarding college advisors and grads could strengthen bonds and project scope. 

    Thanks again!

  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 13, 2021 | 10:31 a.m.

    Hi Shihadah - that's a great point about advisors!  I hadn't thought about that.  Thanks!

    Cheers, Dan

  • May 18, 2021 | 05:30 p.m.

    Sounds like super cool topics for students, great job!

     
    1
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    Daniel Zietlow
  • Icon for: Daniel Zietlow

    Daniel Zietlow

    Co-Presenter
    Educational Designer
    May 18, 2021 | 05:36 p.m.

    Thanks for checking out our video and project, Bianca!

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