Meet Darlene Cavalier

DarleneCavalier1

Darlene is the founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, a popular website and organization that works with 250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and technology careers to promote science and the involvement of citizens in science and science-related policy. She has held executive positions at Walt Disney Publishing and has worked at Discover magazine for 15 years, where she now is a senior adviser and writer. She has created national science awards programs, science education initiatives, and a series of science-themed roundtable discussions for, among others, the Disney Institute, Space.com, Sally Ride’s Imaginary Lines, and the Franklin Institute. She also serves on the Steering Committee for Science Debate and is a founding partner of Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology and blog, which engages experts, stakeholders, and everyday citizens in assessing the implications of emerging developments in science and technology. She originated and managed the Emmy award-winning Science of NFL Football series produced by the NFL, NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Science Cheerleader.

A former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader, Darlene does not regret the years she gabbed through high school science classes. She earned a Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, studying science history, sociology, and science policy to learn more about people like herself: “hybrid actors,” citizens interested in but not formally trained in the sciences. Discovering it was remarkably difficult to find opportunities to participate in science in any meaningful way, she launched SciStarter. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children, who have made it a hobby to explore the rainforests of Costa Rica. She’s also a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Consortium of Science, Policy, and Outcomes.

Cavalier is the proud recipient of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant to support “people with brilliant ideas” and she is investing that grant in the development of a series of media partnerships to help bring more citizen science opportunities to more communities.

Three words that describe Darlene:
Science and citizen advocate; founder of Science Cheerleader and SciStarter; contributing editor, Discover Magazine; wife and mom.

The dots Darlene connects:
She connects the public to citizen science activities. She connects researchers to the public. She connects underrepresented groups to science.

Meet Betsy Barent

Betsy_Barent_130x130

Betsy Barent has been teaching for twelve years and is currently teaching 8th grade science, having also taught Advanced Biology, Differentiated Biology, Practical Biology and Physical Science at the high school level.

Outside of the classroom she is involved with Understanding Science, helping to create the How Science Works iTunes University course, and has participated in the Institutional Development Award Program Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She also helped write curriculum for the Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools through the University of Nebraska-­Lincoln. She is
very involved in the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science.

In 2015, Betsy was selected as state finalist for the Presidential Award! She was chosen as one of four Nebraska state-level finalist for this year’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching. “Betsy is a master teacher, committed to using innovative teaching methods that actively engage students in their own learning.” Mary Jo Leininger, Norris Middle School principal, said. “She has great passion for science and for her students and is very deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

Three words that describe Betsy:
Avid Husker fan, love to exercise, mom of two

The dots that Betsy connects:
Betsy connects teachers with teachers in our district and the state. She connects students and parents with science opportunities.

Meet Anne Holland

Anne_Holland_fullphotoMeet Anne Holland, the Exhibits and Outreach Manager at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Previous to  managing the education and public outreach for the Space Science Institute, she worked at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.

She is a big advocate for libraries and librarians! Her favorite part of her job is helping librarians find easy and cheap activities to do with their patrons, and convincing them that they’re more than capable of doing STEM in their libraries.

Three words that describe Anne:
Space educator, skiier, new mom

The dots she connects:
She connects librarians with scientists and science educators

Girl Scout Patch

GirlScoutPatch“I’m a Scientific Citizen” Girl Scout Patch

Science is all about figuring “stuff” out – so that we understand our world better. Science helps us investigate questions and solve problems in just about every way imaginable. That is pretty cool! On this patch journey, you will learn about how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters. In doing this, you will test your science know-how, go on a real science adventure, and learn how to be a good scientific citizen throughout your life. So grab your pen and paper and let’s get started!

Activities
1. Check your “science know-how”
2. Observe and ask questions the way scientists do!
3. Get involved in a citizen science project
4. Share what it means to be a scientific citizen

Purpose: When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters.

See our PDF here.

Meet Cynthia Kramer

cynthia_kramer2Cynthia Kramer, founder of SCOPE: Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration.

Cynthia Kramer founded SCOPE in 2007, when a clinical trial saved her life (read more here). This grassroots initiative is dedicated to bringing Science and Technology’s relevance, resources and information to communities (at no cost) from education to workforce, so the public can connect to why it matters, how to participate and ways to benefit as a parent, student or citizen.

Through community building, events, State and County Fairs, SCOPE serves over 36 communities, in Missouri and Iowa, to impact over 500,000 people. Kramer was previously a shoe designer, created the first backless women’s tennis shoe and loves travel with sons Mitchell and Samuel.

Three words that describe Cynthia:
Coffee addict, Social Justice Advocate, Lover of Innvoation

The dots she connects: SCOPE connects rural, urban and suburban communities to Science and Technology resources and information, from Education to Financial Aid, Scholarships, Internships, Jobs and Careers. They connect parents, students and families to the relevancy and importance of Science and Technology for the betterment of our future, communities and lives.

Encouraging Lifelong Learning

Informed_by_Nature_logo

Informed by Nature (IBN) works to advance the public understanding and appreciation of science, from its elegant approach to its awe-inspiring results. We are dedicated to encouraging lifelong learning, promoting critical thinking, and celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

How They Do It
ONLINE: IBN accomplishes its objectives by opening homes, schools, libraries, and any internet connection to an innovative online science portal that makes learning about science and its relevance to our lives easy and engaging. IBN compiles the best science literature, lectures, films, magazines, videos, and art, among other media, in a searchable, user-friendly website that captures science enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

OFFLINE: Our outreach programs aim to educate and inspire, whether providing the online platform for student science projects and science fairs or creating a network of high school science clubs that facilitates structured activities, hosted events, online projects, and competitions. IBN further fosters public involvement in science learning by bringing professionals to the classroom to talk about how critical thinking and science knowledge inform us daily, encouraging today’s specialists to inspire tomorrow’s innovators with an appreciation for science

Why They Do It
Through all our efforts, IBN strives to touch every life with the wonder of science, encouraging learning, critical thinking, and giving everyone the building blocks for discovery and innovation.

Learn more at http://informedbynature.org/ and thanks to Wayne Himelsein for sharing this website with the COPUS community!

2014 Paul Shin Award

The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) today announced this year’s winner of the third annual Paul Shin Award, honoring the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement.

The 2014 winner is Dr. Amy Vashlishan Murray, Assistant Professor of Science (in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies) at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a tenure-track science faculty member at Emerson College, one might think that Amy has her hands full: she teaches undergraduates with a focused interest in art and communication while conducting research in neurobiology in the Kaplan lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. But Amy recognizes that she’s uniquely situated — she’s interfacing with young talent in communication and art AND with cutting edge science. With a seemingly boundless energy, she’s capitalized on her situation to create innovative synergies that enhance the public’s understanding of science. Among her achievements are the founding of the Emerson Science Communication Collaborative and helping to establish the “Ask For Evidence” campaign in the US.

Amy explains: “I am driven by the belief that the role and responsibility of the scientist includes anticipating the social impact of development in her field and striving to develop well-informed consumers of scientific information. Initiatives like Ask for Evidence and the Science Communication Collaborative build from this belief by empowering students and members of the public to question the science they encounter in their daily lives and by engaging these stakeholders in communication exchanges with the scientific community.”

Morgan Thompson, PhD, Assistant Director at the Center for Biomedical Career Development, nominated Amy for the award, saying Amy is “shaping the foundational scientific understanding of future communicators – both conceptual knowledge as well as the process of science and ability to critically evaluate evidence.” The Emerson Science Communication Collaborative “pairs undergraduate students interested in science communication with local early career scientists in a semester-long series of exchanges to further the training and skills of both audiences. Scientists are provided a rare opportunity early in their careers to practice media skills and effective communication with lay audiences in a non-threatening, low-risk environment that utilizes the expertise of Emerson students. The undergraduates come to know the person behind the scientist, helping to dispel popular misconceptions about the process of science and providing more accurate, nuanced, and diverse portraits of who does science. Culminating projects range from children’s books to public service announcements to a musical composition based upon the genetic sequence of a strain of H1N1 flu virus.”

Seeking to effect national change, Amy initiated a collaboration with the UK-based nonprofit, Sense About Science, to help establish their “Ask for Evidence” campaign in the US. Thompson states, “as the name suggests, this campaign encourages everyone to question claims in politics, media, and advertising. Amy’s ingenuity and commitment was vital to providing the foundation for continued national programming following the public launch of the US campaign in February 2013. Briefly, Amy secured funding from a Consumer Awareness Project Grant at Emerson to: 1) conduct a public survey exploring the public relationship with evidence; 2) develop a US campaign website with resources for how to ask, how to evaluate evidence (including a platform to connect with local scientists), and examples of participant experiences; 3) host a media training workshop for future scientists and communicators; 4) carry-out program evaluation, including Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) questionnaires (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities, 2012).”

Amy’s passion for science communication has led her to not only play an active role in the Boston area science outreach community, but to be a member of the National Association of Science Writers, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and Voice of Young Science USA. Her passion for science education and outreach stems back to well before her faculty position at Emerson. For more than a decade, Amy has been involved in the advancement of the public’s understanding of science — directing the Harvard graduate student organization Science in the News, developing exhibits at the Museum of Science Boston, and playing an important role in discussions of the implications of new genetic technologies with the Genetics and Society Working Group.

Dr. Murray attended the COPUS 2014 Invitational from Sep 18-21 in New Mexico, and took part in two days of science outreach networking and educational events. She received the award while at the unconference. Amy said, “this award is really gratifying as recognition of work that isn’t necessarily part of the job description for typical academic scientists and isn’t is always valued explicitly in the scientific community. It is also an incredible honor because it is coming from a community of people that, themselves, have done such amazing, and often unrecognized, work in science outreach and because I’ve learned what a special individual and leader Paul Shin was to this community.”

Amy also expressed “gratitude to the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship at Emerson for helping to identify and secure funding opportunities, including the Consumer Awareness Project fund, to support development and broader expansion of this work.”

Co-founder of COPUS, Judy Scotchmoor said, “The Paul Shin award is very special to us at COPUS. In the short time that we knew Paul, we were captivated by his energy and determination to make a difference in the world. The nominees for this year’s award were fantastic, but Amy made an impression on us. Her tireless enthusiasm and commitment to sharing science is exactly what we aspire to recognize through this award.”