Science Communication: Video Examples
As exciting as I find science and my research, I recognize not everyone is as keen. Therefore, I have enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm about science and nature with people in the community.
Professionally, I have given many lab tours, demonstrations, and talks to school groups through adults. But I have also partaken in and led many activities where we bring insects and spiders to the public—for both children and adults. In addition, I have participated in science education for the public in activities like Bright Club Comedy and FameLab–or even the neighborhood children!
This page is intended to give a sampling of my experiences sharing biology with those around me.
Below you will find: a competition entry “What is Climate” aimed at 11 year old students; a video of me giving a professional talk; a summary of what is sound pitched to middle/high school students that teaches some of what I cover in outreach events, clips from an outreach event to high school students; science comedy on stage; and videos of me on stage with FameLab.
This is a technical talk I gave at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) conference in May 2018. The talk was part of the Plant Bioacoustics session. The research talk covers work that focuses on the insect call as it is transmitted along a plant.
* Note, in the beginning of the talk there are a few technical glitches and one can see how I cope with them.
What is Climate?
The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science 2018 Flame Challenge sets a competition for scientists to explain a topic to an 11-year old. I entered the video competitions, results announced in Spring 2018. In this video I travel all over California and to Sweden explaining “Climate” in a way that entertains while educates.
Sound and Vibration
This video is a combination of an acoustics art project (see Artwork) and how I present the sound and vibrational material to middle and high school children. The magic of showing them how their voices translate to a visual, moving display usually transfixes their attention. They ask great questions and learn a bit too.
The video ends with the students who “scream with delight. It is as if they are applauding themselves. Someone entering the room would have thought this was a pep-rally in support of Science and be led to feel that all of these students will enter the fields of Science…” ~Craig Wilson, Ph.D., Director USDA Future Scientists Program.
As part of my regular practices, I show students and adults how we do recordings in the field. This is an example of an outreach event–to high school students.
Bright Club Comedy
In 2013 I participated in bringing science to the stage…at a bar…in Glasgow, Scotland.
This is a comedy set I put together about spider sex and insect hearing.
Fame Lab is an international organization that teaches people to effectively communicate science to a broad audience. In 2011, I participated in the Scotland heat, making it to the finals round. I strive to continually improve how I can reach people of all ages and backgrounds and the training from FameLab has helped me recognize how to keep it simple and fun.
Every Day Outreach
I enjoy teaching children advanced tidbits of science whenever I can. For example, in New Hampshire, the neighborhood children were excited by my moth collecting and what flies at night. So, I shared my enthusiasm and taught one 5-year old child about moths, hearing to avoid bats, and how to tell if it is a male moth (by looking for fanned antennae). She drew me a picture of a Luna Moth we saw at her light one night–even remembering to draw it as a male!
In addition, years I have participated in many outreach activities where I bring insects and spiders to the public to teach them and let them handle live animals. These events include activities such as: S.O.S. Day—Scary Oozy Slimy, Charlotte’s Web Spider outreach, ‘Eat a Bug’ lunch, and booths at university and nature center events. I have also been a summer camp’s naturalist teaching ages 4-14 the fun niches in their backyard.