Real Outreach for Real Proposals

An invited session jointly sponsored by
The Division of Particles and Fields (DPF)
and
The Forum on Education (FEd)

American Physical Society April Meeting 2002
Jointly Sponsored with the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD)
of the American Astronomical Society
April 20 - 23, 2002
Albuquerque Convention Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Session S6
Aztec Room, Albuquerque Convention Center

2:30 - 5:30 pm, Monday, April 22, 2002

Session Organized by
Janet Conrad, Columbia University  conrad@nevis1.nevis.columbia.edu   (DPF)
and
Ernie Malamud, Fermilab malamud@fnal.gov (FEd)

The progress in recent decades in understanding our Universe has been remarkable. Yet physicists have not done well in communicating the wonder, excitement, and beauty of discoveries to the general public. In this session, jointly organized by DPF and FEd, speakers will propose various ways for scientists to reach out to the K-12 education community as well as the general public.

2:30 pm. "NSF: Outreach is in Our Name?"
Joe Dehmer, National Science Foundation (jdehmer@nsf.gov)

Outreach is an integral part of the science we do at NSF. We believe sharing the excitement is both a privilege and responsibility of every physicist, as important to the dissemination of information as conference presentations and papers. As a result, education and outreach has become an integral part of physics proposals. We also offer specialized funding opportunities in education and outreach. In this talk, I review the opportunities and discuss the criteria by which outreach proposals are judged.

 

3:06 pm. "A Tale of Two Programs"
Len Bugel, Fermilab (bugel@fnal.gov) and Cindy Crockett, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (ccrocket@cfa.harvard.edu)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an intensive one-week summer program for middle and high school teachers; it is a rapid tour of current research in several areas of science and technology, largely presented in lecture format. Fermilab offers an eight week program in which teachers are immersed in a single research project, contributing to an ongoing experiment. As different as these programs are, they have at least one thing in common. Both have spawned other teacher-driven programs that provide educational opportunities for motivated teachers who wish to go beyond the usual toward improving content and delivery in their classrooms and laboratories.

 

3:42 pm. "How Physicists can work with Science Centers around the Country"
Robert J. Semper, Exploratorium (robs@exporatorium.edu)

The Science Center movement in the United States has grown from a few pioneer institutions in
the late 1960’s to over 400 institutions worldwide and representing most every major community
in the US. These centers support an opportunity for teachers, students, families and members of
the general public to experience science activities directly as well as to learn about modern science
research. Physicists have been instrumental in developing many of these institutions from creating
individual exhibits and participating in programs to providing institutional leadership. Working with
informal science education institutions, while highly rewarding, can often require a shift in thinking
for physicists that is not always straightforward. This presentation will discuss examples of the
different kinds of opportunities for physicists to work with these institutions, the cultural
adaptations that may be required and some new opportunities that these institutions provide to
support the public understanding of science.

4:18 pm. "Research and Education: Planning an Effective Outreach Program in Balance with a Research Career"
Brian Connolly, Fermilab  (connolly@fnal.gov), Natalia Kuznetsova, SLAC (natalia@slac.stanford.edu) and Reshmi Mukherjee, Columbia University  (muk@astrocolumbia.edu)  

As scientific scholars and educators we are in a position to make a difference in outreach efforts to elementary and high school students as well as the general public, in addition to mentoring undergraduate and doctoral students. Outreach is a major component of the CAREER grant, the Lederman fellowship, as well as the primary focus of the Young Physicists Outreach Panel (YPOP). As recipients of these awards, and participants in YPOP, we would like to share our insights with the audience. The talk will cover the topics of YPOP, the Lederman Fellowship, and the CAREER grant. The Lederman Fellowship is awarded in recognition of Leon Lederman's legacy as an educator, where the fellows participate in educational/outreach programs of their choice. The NSF makes the CAREER awards to junion faculty. Outreach is of fundamental importance in these grants, with a 40 percent weight attached to the outreach and education component of the proposal. The speakers, a graduate student, a post-doctoral research fellow, and an Assistant Professor, will describe the educational/outreach activities they have been involved in, and discuss how outreach can be integrated into a career in physics research.

 

4:54 pm. "The Art of the Public Lecture"
Chris Quigg, Fermilab (quigg@fnal.gov)

A public lecture is an invitation to conversation, and it is also a performance. A lively conversation---especially when one person does most of the talking---requires that you have something to say. A memorable performance requires assiduous preparation. I will touch on a number of important elements: preparing the scene and eliminating barriers between you and the audience ... engaging your listeners with a narrative arc ... the uses of the minute particular ... tension and resolution, surprise and drama ... experiments and demonstrations, specimens and souvenirs ... showing yourself, and your passion.

5:30 pm. Session adjourned

rev. April  28, 2002