COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how people connect. Limited in-person gatherings and reduced access to schools, museums, and other traditional learning venues have increased the need for creative public engagement strategies. STEMAP’s spring 2021 training will support STEM Ambassadors in addressing these challenges.
Ambassadors will participate in workshops and one-on-one meetings from Jan- April 2021 to learn how to form meaningful relationships in the community and carry out a public engagement project. Projects will take place outside traditional learning venues, such as museums and schools, to better include people who cannot or do not engage with science in conventional ways. Training will take place online and all engagement projects will be conducted in accordance with University of Utah public health guidance.
Previous engagement projects have included:
- a researcher studying antibiotic resistant bacteria wrote an article for a parenting website about how his research affects the way he prepares food for his family;
- an ornithologist drew on her skills as a musician to write and perform music inspired by bird migrations; and
- an anthropologist led a virtual pottery workshop for youth in a secure residential facility.
Through STEMAP training, Ambassadors gain public engagement skills that can be applied when communicating with stakeholders outside their field, developing innovative Broader Impacts for NSF proposals, and improving public access to science.