1 November 2022

Outreach Training Webinar for Scientists and Engineers

Ota Lutz

It’s an honor to receive a request to speak to the general public about your work, but knowing how to reach varied audiences with technical information can be a challenge. Different venues have different needs, and different ages and experience levels respond to different approaches. How do you know what to do — and what not to do — for each? Wouldn’t it be great to have a handy resource that provides tips and tricks for success? 

Engineer MiMi Aung explains the Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, mission to interested members of the public. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

NASA’s Universe of Learning is rolling out a webinar series for scientists and engineers who want to improve their outreach skills. These webinars will help you become better prepared for the varied situations you might encounter while presenting in the wild and will point you to numerous resources for engaging diverse audiences.

The first one-hour webinar will take place Wednesday, 9 November 2022, at 4:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm PT. Register online to receive a link to the Zoom webinar.

During the first webinar, we will introduce NASA’s Universe of Learning Speaker Toolkit, which was created by professional educators to help you make the most of your speaking engagements. The toolkit contains guidance for presenting at a variety of venues, from museums and science centers to youth organizations and after-school groups. The toolkit also provides a list of questions to ask your host, tips for effective slide presentations, and the pros and cons of doing a hands-on activity with your attendees. 

We will also cover effective techniques for engaging audience members in Q&A sessions and how to handle difficult questions. In some cases, it’s a good idea to solicit questions in advance, and in some cases, it’s better to take questions on the spot. Do you know when each approach is better? Find out during this webinar.

Each webinar in the series will feature informal learning resources on a different universe-themed topic and this first webinar will feature JWST resources for engaging various audiences. Whether you are a JWST expert or an expert in a completely different field, this webinar is for you. We will point you toward articles, videos, and interactives that summarize some of the latest findings of this amazing space-based observatory, and we will demonstrate at least one of the plethora of hands-on activities available for engaging your audience. 

Additionally, during this fast-paced hour, we will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of true experts in informal learning pedagogy: museum educators, library educators, and more. Hear directly from those who invite you to their venues about what they hope to accomplish for their audiences when you engage with them. Learn about creative ways they have used expert visits beyond the usual slide presentation and question and answer sessions. 

When you register for this webinar, you will have an opportunity to share with us those things you find the most challenging when doing outreach. We will use your input to structure the content of the webinar so it is tailored to your needs. At the end of the webinar, we will ask you to provide feedback to us to inform future webinars. 

Please join us for our inaugural webinar and learn some tips and tricks to up your outreach game!

Register Online