Science Outreach Certificate

Graduate Certificate of Science Outreach

Science Outreach programs aim to increase the interaction between scientists and the public, for the benefit of both.  To increase the public’s understanding of science, scientists and science educators engage with the communities to present science, and the role of science in our lives, in non-technical language accessible to lay audience.  The scientists, in turn, get a better sense of the public’s perception of science and citizens’ attitudes towards science.

The educational objectives of the Certificate in Science Outreach Program are to teach students how to integrate research with outreach, and how to engage with the lay public.  Course work will concentrate on increasing the ability of students to communicate science to broad audiences of different ages and different levels of education.  Practice and application of outreach will develop the “broader impacts” component of the research, and will emphasize actual interaction with audiences, to promote understanding and appreciation of science, and support for scientific research. This is part of an overall effort to create a culture where engagement between scientists and the public is the norm.

The program will entail outreach efforts with two different types of audiences;  K-12, both for students and for mentors,  and adult audiences.

Total credits required:  12

Courses:

One course about teaching, and the theory of teaching.  Students can chose from courses that are recognized by the program “Minor in College teaching”.

Example: College Science Teaching – C&I 8724/BioSci 8724, where the emphasis is on how students learn science and appropriate pedagogies to support learning.  3 credit hours

Science outreach – Public Understanding of Science – BioSci 8725/ AniSci8725/ C&I8900/ Physics8325: Through a series of lectures, dubbed “Science and Me” the course concentrates on interaction of future scientists and science educators with adult audiences in the community. 2-3 Credit hours  (see http://www.scienceandme.org).

Practice component:

Students will go out to the community and engage in outreach activities.   Academic credit (1-6 credit hours) will be earned thorough a course called “Integrating Science with Outreach” (see integrating science with outreach).