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Title: Education and public outreach: communicating science through storytelling
ABSTRACT <p>Education and public outreach activities can be challenging for most active scientists, for very good reasons. Allotment of time to participate in outreach activities could be a major challenge. However, when such activities are incorporated into one’s academic and research plan, they can be enriching. Here, the author describes his experience in what began as on one-off participation at an outreach event, leading to a series of speaking events addressing the public at the monthly meetings of several astronomy clubs/societies, observatories, etc. in the states of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Colorado. They have often involved the use of motifs and characters from popular science fiction, literature, and movies and when possible, getting the audience actively involved in the presentations. Furthermore, the discussions following each presentation have been enriching in terms of getting a broad perspective of the perceptions that people in general have, regarding the origins of life, microbiology, extremophiles, and astrobiology.</p></sec> </span> <a href='#' class='show open-abstract' style='margin-left:10px;'>more »</a> <a href='#' class='hide close-abstract' style='margin-left:10px;'>« less</a> <div style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"></div> <dl class="dl-horizontal small semi-colon-delimited-data"> <dt>Award ID(s):</dt> <dd> <span> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://par.nsf.gov/search/award_ids:2227347"> 2227347</a> </span> </dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>NSF-PAR ID:</dt> <dd>10511696</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Author(s) / Creator(s):</dt> <dd> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://par.nsf.gov/search/author:"Tirumalai, Madhan R""><span class="author" itemprop="author">Tirumalai, Madhan R</span></a></dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Editor(s):</dt><dd> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://par.nsf.gov/search/editor:"Maloy, Stanley""><span class="editor" itemprop="editor">Maloy, Stanley</span></a></dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Publisher / Repository:</dt> <dd itemprop="publisher">Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Date Published:</dt> <dd> <time itemprop="datePublished" datetime="2024-04-25">2024-04-25</time> </dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Journal Name:</dt> <dd>Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Volume:</dt> <dd>25</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Issue:</dt> <dd>1</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>ISSN:</dt> <dd>1935-7877</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small"> <dt>Format(s):</dt> <dd>Medium: X</dd> </dl> <dl class="dl-horizontal small semi-colon-delimited-data"> <dt>Sponsoring Org:</dt> <dd itemprop="sourceOrganization"> <span>National Science Foundation</span> </dd> </dl> <div class="clearfix"></div> </div> </div> <div id="citation-addl" class="hidden-print"> <h5 id='mlt-header'>More Like this</h5> <ol class="item-list documents" id="citation-mlt" style="min-height: 80px;"> <li> <div class="article item document" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/TechArticle"> <div class="item-info"> <div class="title"> <a href="https://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10496246-learning-prioritize-public-good-does-training-classes-workplaces-professional-societies-shape-engineers-understanding-public-welfare-responsibilities" itemprop="url"> <span class='span-link' itemprop="name">Learning to prioritize the public good: Does training in classes, workplaces, and professional societies shape engineers' understanding of their public welfare responsibilities?</span> </a> </div> <div> <strong> <a class="misc external-link" href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20590" target="_blank" title="Link to document DOI">https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20590  <span class="fas fa-external-link-alt"></span></a> </strong> </div> <div class="metadata"> <span class="authors"> <span class="author" itemprop="author">Cech, Erin A.</span> <span class="sep">; </span><span class="author" itemprop="author">Finelli, Cynthia J.</span> </span> <span class="year">( <time itemprop="datePublished" datetime="2024-03-20">March 2024</time> , Journal of Engineering Education) </span> </div> <div style="cursor: pointer;-webkit-line-clamp: 5;" class="abstract" itemprop="description"> <title>Abstract Background

Engineers are professionally obligated to protect the safety and well‐being of the public impacted by the technologies they design and maintain. In an increasingly complex sociotechnical world, engineering educators and professional institutions have a duty to train engineers in these responsibilities.

Purpose/Hypothesis

This article asks, where are engineers trained in their public welfare responsibilities, and how effective is this training? We argue that engineers trained in public welfare responsibilities, especially within engineering education, will demonstrate greater understanding of their duty to recognize and respond to public welfare concerns. We expect training in formal engineering classes to be more broadly impactful than training in contexts like work or professional societies.

Data/Methods

We analyze unique survey data from a representative sample of US practicing engineers using descriptive and regression techniques.

Results

Consistent with expectations, engineers who received public welfare responsibility training in engineering classes are more likely than other engineers to understand their responsibilities to protect public health and safety and problem‐solve collectively, to recognize the importance of social consequences and ethical responsibilities in their own jobs, to have noticed ethical issues in their workplace, and to have taken action about an issue that concerned them. Training through other parts of college, workplaces, or professional societies has comparatively little impact. Concerningly, nearly a third of engineers reported never being trained in public welfare responsibilities.

Conclusion

These results suggest that training in engineering education can shape engineers' long‐term understanding of their public welfare responsibilities. They underscore the need for these responsibilities to be taught as a core, non‐negotiable part of engineering education.

 
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  • Abstract Purpose of Review

    Preparing for pandemics requires a degree of interdisciplinary work that is challenging under the current paradigm. This review summarizes the challenges faced by the field of pandemic science and proposes how to address them.

    Recent Findings

    The structure of current siloed systems of research organizations hinders effective interdisciplinary pandemic research. Moreover, effective pandemic preparedness requires stakeholders in public policy and health to interact and integrate new findings rapidly, relying on a robust, responsive, and productive research domain. Neither of these requirements are well supported under the current system.

    Summary

    We propose a new paradigm for pandemic preparedness wherein interdisciplinary research and close collaboration with public policy and health practitioners can improve our ability to prevent, detect, and treat pandemics through tighter integration among domains, rapid and accurate integration, and translation of science to public policy, outreach and education, and improved venues and incentives for sustainable and robust interdisciplinary work.

     
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  • Abstract Background

    Despite the prevalence and potential of K–12 engineering outreach programs, the moment‐to‐moment dynamics of outreach educators' facilitation of engineering learning experiences are understudied. There is a need to identify outreach educators' teaching moves and to explore the implications of these moves.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    We offer a preliminary framework for characterizing engineering outreach educators' teaching moves in relation to principles of ambitious instruction. This study describes outreach educators' teaching moves and identifies learning opportunities afforded by these moves.

    Design/Method

    Through discourse analysis of video recordings of a university‐led engineering outreach program, we identified teaching moves of novice engineering outreach educators in interaction with elementary student design teams. We considered 18 outreach educators' teaching moves through a lens of ambitious instruction.

    Results

    In small group interactions, outreach educators used ambitious, conservative, and inclusive teaching moves. These novice educators utilized talk moves that centered students' ideas and agency. Ambitious moves included two novel teaching moves: design check‐ins and revoicing tangible manifestations of students' ideas. Ambitious moves offered students opportunities to engage in engineering design. Conservative moves provided opportunities for students to make technical and affective progress, and to experience engineering norms.

    Conclusions

    Our work is formative in describing engineering outreach educators' teaching moves and points to outreach educators' capability in using ambitious moves. Ambitious engineering instruction may be a useful framework for designing engineering outreach to support students' participation and progress in engineering design. Additionally, conservative teaching moves, typically considered constraining, may support productive student affect and engagement in engineering design.

     
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  • Abstract Summary

    When the COVID-19 crisis shut down most undergraduate research opportunities, the Macromolecular Structure and Function Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program provided a mentored research experience on the topic of Macromolecular Structure and Function and training in professional skills to assist the participants in pursuing a degree and a future career in STEM. The fully online, remote, computer-based program was funded by the USA National Science Foundation. It involved faculty at four geographically distributed institutions specializing in diverse but complementary approaches to study macromolecular structure and function. Importantly, its online ‘collaborate-from-home’ format made it accessible to students during the pandemic to participate fully in the research, professional development and other activities of the program. This project can also serve as an example for future remote, online projects that would especially be helpful for students who do not have access to similar programs at their universities, cannot travel to attend a summer program, have physical challenges that make it difficult for them to work in a lab or students whose research opportunities are limited due to the war in Ukraine. The lessons learned with the Macromolecular Structure and Function REU program can provide helpful information for ISCB members to set up similar programs to serve additional students.

    Availability and implementation

    More information and resources are available on the project web site http://jefferylab.moonlightingproteins.org.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics Advances online.

     
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  • Abstract Background

    Although researchers have documented the outcomes of various out‐of‐class activities for undergraduate students, less attention has been given to student perspectives on activity category and activity levels, particularly when considering demographics such as gender and race/ethnicity.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    This study aims to create a more nuanced profile of engineering undergraduate engagement in out‐of‐class activities disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, and level of activity. As an exploratory study, its goal is to identify patterns that can be explored in the future.

    Design/Method

    A purposive sample of 649 engineering students from three institutions provided complete survey responses that were quantitatively analyzed using frequency tables, diverging bar charts, and calculated odds ratios. This study included an intentional focus on gender and racial/ethnic differences.

    Results

    Job and Sports were most commonly identified as the top out‐of‐class activity for engineering students. Select pre‐professional activities and activities related to the humanities, arts, environment, and civic life were identified less frequently as top activities. Significant differences in choice of top activity and level of activity were found when comparing students by gender and race/ethnicity.

    Conclusion

    A better understanding of engineering student engagement in out‐of‐class activities helps guide actions of program administrators and educators and the direction of future research exploring out‐of‐class engagement. Such opportunities can be shaped to improve engagement, particularly among underrepresented groups.

     
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