Fall Activities and Events Reached Students, Faculty, Staff, and Others

Communicating Science graduate students use their communicating skills to share science with others. Here eager kindergarten children wait for a chemical reaction. 

Fall was another busy semester for the Center for Communicating Science!

Center director Patty Raun facilitated a “connecting across difference” workshop for nearly 300 people at the American Society of Consulting Arborists’ national meeting in San Diego in November, and post-MFAs Daniel Bird Tobin, Nicole Dietze, Brittney Harris, and Al Evangelista collaborated with four Coastal@VT researchers to communicate their research through performance at the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium.

Requests from graduate students who have taken our  Communicating Science course led to workshops for the biological sciences department’s Stream Team, the agricultural and applied economics department’s Health and Food Lab, computer science graduate students, third year landscape architecture undergraduate students,  and computer science graduate students.

We were also invited to provide workshop experiences for Amanda Morris’ chemistry research group, public health graduate students in the vet school, science festival presenters, students in the Preparing the Future Professoriate course, fifth-year architecture students, 175 undergraduate students in Fine Arts 2004 (Creativity and the Artistic Experience), and TLOS faculty and staff.

Center-related outreach events took lots of Virginia Tech research out to the community. The Nutshell Games, held in conjunction with the Science Festival, attracted an audience of 230, who called the event “uplifting,” “inspiring,” and “truly a sight to see.”  Communicating Science students presented their research to an audience at the Warm Hearth retirement community and to 6th and 7th graders at Eastern Middle School in Giles County. Science on Tap speakers educated and entertained audiences at Rising Silo Brewery and the River Mill.

The center’s graduate student community extended our reach:

  • James Wilson, Ellen Garcia, and Sara Harrell gave Pecha Kucha talks as part of Blacksburg’s Sustainability Week events in September;
  • Bennett Grooms discussed science communication and led a workshop for the undergraduate students in Lori Blanc’s Leadership in Science course and also spoke about his research at Research a la Mode: “What do the social sciences offer to wildlife management? Exploring insights on wildlife recreationists”;
  • Our first Girls Launch! kindergarten science visitors for this academic year were Sarita Hough, who dazzled three classrooms full of small children with her demonstrations of liquid, solid, and gas, and Sharri Zamore and Kat Black, who took VERY LARGE snakes to kindergarten;
  • Brynn O’Donnell posted a new episode of her SubmergeRadio podcast, “Shifting Baselines and the Collapse of the Newfoundland Cod Fishery”;
  • Mitch Allen gave a “general public audience” talk, “Gluing your broken heart back together: How a new peptide recharges the heart’s batteries after a heart attack,” at Research a la Mode;
  • Elaine Barr answered questions (some tough ones!) about bats from kindergarten kids through her work with Skype a Scientist.

Let us know what you’re doing to communicate your research! We’d love to highlight it here.

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