1. Anna Johnson
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annajohnson5/
  3. Portal to the Public Manager
  4. Portal to the Public: Expanding the National Network (PoP: ENN)
  5. http://popnet.pacificsciencecenter.org/
  6. Pacific Science Center
  1. Eve Klein
  2. http://popnet.pacificsciencecenter.org
  3. Program Director
  4. Portal to the Public: Expanding the National Network (PoP: ENN)
  5. http://popnet.pacificsciencecenter.org/
  6. Pacific Science Center
Public Discussion
  • May 14, 2018 | 04:03 p.m.

    This project really is "transforming the educational landscape" - I cite it all the time as a project that really understands what it takes to give scientists what they need to do effective public engagement with the public. Congrats on scaling up a great model!

     
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    Lesley Markham
    Eve Klein
  • Icon for: Eve Klein

    Eve Klein

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:10 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Sue! 

  • Icon for: Anna Hurst

    Anna Hurst

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 07:58 p.m.

    Portal to the Public is doing excellent work! Here at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, we use several of your training activities in our Astronomy Ambassadors workshops for early career astronomers who are motivated to engage in public outreach.

     

    What tools can scientists use to assess the effectiveness and impact of their public engagement? This is a question that we intend to explore through future work, but do you know of any existing tools or resources that you would recommend?

     
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    Lesley Markham
    Eve Klein
  • Icon for: Eve Klein

    Eve Klein

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:06 p.m.

    Anna, thanks for this important question. Many Portal to the Public member organizations assess audience impact during programming, but these instruments generally look at the overall outcomes of public events and programs. We also sometimes conduct ethnographic observations of individual interactions, and in our training, we stress the importance of reflective practice and encourage scientists to note particular successes and challenges after each interaction so they can learn and grow. We’re thrilled that ASP is looking to take on this challenge in greater depth!

    In the broader public engagement world, the question of evaluation (rightfully!) gets a lot of attention. I recommend taking a look at this report https://wellcome.ac.uk/sites/default/files/wtp052364_0.pdf to read about some of the approaches out there. 

     
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    Anna Hurst
  • Icon for: Anushree Bopardikar

    Anushree Bopardikar

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 08:17 p.m.

    Thank you for providing a glimpse into this large scale body of work! I was wondering if you could say more about what strategies you have found helpful in building relationships with scientists and scientific organizations. Also, I understand that in fostering connections among scientists, educators and the broader public, it's important to attend to the goals of each of these partners. In your experience, are the different goals generally supportive or have there been situations where the alignment needed to be addressed?

     
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    Eve Klein
  • Icon for: Eve Klein

    Eve Klein

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:08 p.m.

    Hi Anushree,

    Thanks for the question, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the video. As you have gathered, relationship-building is a major focus of the Portal to the Public approach. There are many things to consider in this process, beginning with identifying the right partner(s) for your goals. We suggest a balance of opportunism and careful strategizing at first; often we struggle to say “no” when an opportunity arises, even if the timing is wrong or the resources aren’t sufficient. Identify who in your existing circle of contacts can help make initial contact, and who can help establish credibility for your work. From there, it is important to remember that a strong professional relationship takes time to build and nurture, and requires flexibility and respect.

    You’re absolutely right that it’s important to recognize and acknowledge the (often differing) goals of scientists, educators, and the various public audiences we seek to engage. We listen careful to the motivations of participating scientists, and work to make sure their experiences in our programs help them reach their own goals. (Often, this also means working with them to develop realistic goals!) Likewise, we think the experiences our guests seek when the visit a public science program or event, and we’re careful to craft programs that delight, inspire, and challenge learners at all levels. 

     
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    Anushree Bopardikar
  • Icon for: Lisa Miller

    Lisa Miller

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 06:21 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your important work!  Could you say a little more about how the project helps facilitate the involved ISE organizations ability to share experiences and best practices with each other. Also, have you had the opportunity to assess the impact PoP has had on the involved ISE organizations and the communities they serve.  Thanks!

     
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    Eve Klein
  • Icon for: Eve Klein

    Eve Klein

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 06:08 p.m.

    Lisa,

    Great question. Most organizations that join the Network join as part of a cohort - typically 4-8 organizations per round. Each cohort participates in an intensive 2-3 day in-person workshop, during which time they have opportunities both to plan with their own colleagues, and to tackle big ideas as a group. More tenured members of the Network also serve as mentors to newer members as they develop and launch their programs.

    During our most recent summative evaluation we did take a look at the impact of the work in ISE organizations themselves; I invite you to look over our report, here: PoPNet Summative Evaluation Report. Impact on the communities is a critical question of course, but has been less a focus of Network-wide investigation since each site has his own distinct approach and goals. Always interested in learning how other Networks take this on!

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 07:39 a.m.

    Thanks for providing an overview of your work. In a previous post you mentioned ethnographic research that you are/have been doing around the program. Can you share what you have learned in more specifics? Have you done impact studies as part of any of your work? Also, have you thought about partnering with Schools of Science Communication or other higher ed programs that might benefit from the training and exposure to the public?

     
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    Eve Klein
  • Icon for: Eve Klein

    Eve Klein

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 06:25 p.m.

    Steven, glad you enjoyed the video. We've conducted quite a bit of evaluation over the years, and some of the reports are here: https://popnet.pacificsciencecenter.org/resources/ under "Research and Evaluation." We're very happy to answer any questions you at have about specific findings.

    Many of the organizations in our Network do work closely with various higher education entities (departments, schools, programs, etc.), particularly as universities direct more attention toward community engagement efforts. Our work is rooted in research around learning in informal environments, but as you know there's still a lot of work to be done bridging the worlds of science communication research and public engagement practice!

     

  • Icon for: Lori Miraldi

    Lori Miraldi

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 18, 2018 | 11:18 a.m.

    You mention communication training in your video. I'm curious what type of training you provide. What is the focus of this training? How extensive is the training?

    As a communication professional who works with engineers, I believe this training is vital to educating the general public and spreading the amazing ideas that are coming out of our STEM institutions. At Penn State, we have classes specifically training engineering students to effectively communicate their ideas to a general audience. In addition, I direct a program, the Engineering Ambassadors, which has a strong focus on communication training. These students learn how to give effective presentations and do K-12 outreach (for an overview: http://videohall.com/p/1266).

    I'm love to see others also helping STEM professionals effectively interact with general audiences and communicate their ideas!

  • Icon for: Anna Johnson

    Anna Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 12:18 p.m.

    Hi Lori, the Engineering Ambassadors program looks great. Thanks for sharing the link to your video!

    Portal to the Public training focuses on preparing scientists to communicate in face-to-face interactions in informal learning settings (museums, zoos, outreach fairs, etc.). The training includes fundamentals in how people learn, effective facilitation strategies, and often support in developing hands-on activities. 

    Portal to the Public is designed to be a flexible framework, so the training looks a little different at each institution. The length can range from a few hours to seven or eight sessions over the course of months. In all cases, a key element is that the training directly prepares scientists for the public programs that they participate in. 

    We're happy to talk more about what is in the training if you're interested, and I'd be curious to learn more about yours. Additionally, we're about to release a new version of our Implementation Manual, which includes a catalog of the training activities. It will be available on our website (http://popnet.pacificsciencecenter.org/) in June.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.