#TeachInForScience Day

Learning can be a very individual experience; after all, gaining knowledge and skills is something that happens internally. But what you learn takes on new significance and understanding when you practice it, which is why our trainings emphasize hands-on group activities. And that learning takes on a life of its own when you share it with others. It’s inspiring to see the community of scientists that are taking their communication knowledge to their colleagues, students, labs, and institutions, and we’re thrilled that today, scientist across the country are putting a special emphasis on encouraging each other to communicate their work. Tessa Hill, one of the core organizers for today’s activities, shares the impetus for this event and some of the tools and events happening today.

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Many scientists have felt recently that we need to increase and improve our efforts to engage with the community around us and talk about why science is important in our society. To that end, UC Santa Barbara marine scientist Dr. Gretchen Hofmann contacted several colleagues in November about scheduling a #TeachInForScience—a day that we can together, as a community, reinforce our efforts to communicate and engage on behalf of science. Gretchen reached out to a small group of fellow scientists, and support grew from there. So today, December 8, 2016, many of us will spend time talking to our students, colleagues and community about science, or practicing with these groups how we can improve our skills at engagement.

Many scientists immediately recommended the COMPASS message box as a classroom activity to work with students on honing their messages for talking to the public. Others, such as Professor Laura Rademacher (University of the Pacific) suggested reading and discussing the Connecting on Climate document (automatic download).

Jenny Stock, Outreach/Education Coordinator for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, recommended using Visualizing Change resources or Reframe Cards to discuss climate and ocean change with students or community members. And  Professor Karen Blair Yip at Houston Community college is taking the opportunity to talk to colleagues about including new resources such as Google TimeLapse and NOAA Infographics in their courses for next semester.


For my part, I get to spend the day listening to graduate students at Bodega Marine Laboratory discuss their engagement plans for the future. I am inspired by what the next generation of scientists will be doing to connect with people, listen to communities, engage in dialogue, and hone their communication skills.  Finding the time to communicate your science isn’t always easy, but it is important, and sharing our resources as a community can help us all to make the most of the time we can give. Thank you #TeachInForScience!

Keep an eye on the #TeachInForScience tag on Twitter; we’re also gathering all the great things shared in this Storify. COMPASS’s top tips can be found on our Tools and Resources page. We’re excited to see scientists supporting each other to engage, and look forward to your stories!

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