Education & Outreach
An important part of our job as scientists is communicating our research and its importance to others. This communication happens on many levels. We have well established methods of sharing our research with others in our field and with the broader scientific community through our publications, conference presentations, posters, etc. Our ways of communicating with the general public, decision makers, teachers and students are less formalised and often less practised, but this communication is essential for the greater impact of our research.
The IPY placed strong emphasis on education and outreach in its planning and many early career polar researchers are using this momentum to get involved in broader communication of their work and the importance of the Polar Regions. Here find out about polar science outreach activities and how to get involved, share experiences of outreach involvement, and find tips and resources for communicating research.
If you have questions or want to get involved pleas contact the Education and Outreach Committee co-chairs Heidi Roop (roop.heidi at gmail.com) and Teresa Valkonen (teresa.valkonen at helsinki.fi).
One of the biggest challenges that scientists have today is to communicate their science efficiently to their peers, to the media, to the general public to everyone. Still today we see colleagues of ours talking in conferences that we do understand very little. Solution: improve our communication skills! Your supervisor, your department, your colleagues (and students) and your CV will thank you! To address this issue, an international workshop was organized in Portugal in 26-28 March 2013, titled "EDUCATION MEETS SCIENCE: BRINGING POLAR RESEARCH INTO THE CLASSROOMS”, by the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra (Portugal), the Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany) and the British Antarctic Survey (UK), with the Museum of Science of the University of Coimbra and the national Agency Ciência Viva, following the success of the teachers/educators workshop at the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference in Montreal and Oslo in 2010.
A total of 41 invited participants (i.e. teachers/educators and invited scientists) from 13 countries (USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Bulgaria, UK, Germany and Swirzterland) participated, inlcuding various APECS members (both sicentists and teachers/educators). The scientists gave science lectures in the morning, whereas the afternoons were composed by demonstrations that teachers/educators could implement in their classrooms), finishing the days with panel discussions addressing key issues for teachers/educators and scientists. See the film here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDdNuPP3fSk
The workshop was a success and concluded that the new association Polar Educators International (PEI) is getting stronger and stronger, highly engaged in collaborating with other organizations, such as APECS, in POLAR WEEKS, and determined to define a clear strategy to help polar teachers/educators and scientists to introduce polar science at local (schools), national and at the international levels, while sharing educational resources. For early career scientists this means more opportunities to get involved in education and outreaxh and improve communication skills.This is really good news for APECS!