The art of good communication

By Kelly

Science is amazing. I just can’t understand why we hear reports that numbers are dwindling in the sciences, and increasing in economics?? How do you encourage more students to remain in the sciences through secondary schooling? Easy. Make science cool. And one man who does this incredibly well  is the ABC’s Dr Derek Muller who not only fronts Catalyst, out nation’s premier science program, but he also hosts and produces a series of videos for his channel Veritasium. He brought us the amazing slinky video that was oh so popular  (see below), but now, check out how freakin’ awesome trees really are! (And not just Christmas trees).

(And for those at home, who are thinking of dropping science, you need an understanding of biology, chemistry, physics and/or mathematics to get to the bottom of this one….) And for those who haven’t a clue which slinky I am referring to…

9 responses to “The art of good communication

  1. Great post! Science really does rock :)

  2. Is a mere high school teacher allowed to respond to this? If so, I have a few things to add to this important question of how to encourage kids into tertiary science…and it aint “easy”! Like science itself, it is very, very hard work.

    • Absolutely! High school is where future scientists are made. It’s really important to get kids interested in science early on, and high school teachers play a huge role in this. I know that it was my high school earth and environmental science and geography teachers that sparked my interest in earth sciences.

  3. While spectacular and thought provoking images are useful, teaching is very much a human activity, an interaction between mentors and students. This is the reason why, at Melrose High, ACE Science relies so heavily on interactions with academics from, among other places, ANU. It is exposure to practising scientists that makes the difference, rather than videos.

    • Hi Geoff! Sorry about the tardy response, I fled the lab to hang out in the Tasmanian wilderness for Christmas (with no internet access!), but enough about my holidays. I agree 110% in what you say. One of the reasons I started the blog was to try and get more interaction between scientists (or those of us that are trainees) and the wider community. I have done quite a bit of outreach in my time and I think it INCREDIBLY important for students to see where a training in the sciences can lead. I think face to face interaction is most definitely more effective, as the role model needs to be accessible, and when time permits I usually get a really positive response. I, like most students I speak to, had no idea that if I stuck with the fundamentals of chemistry and biology (with a large love of the ocean) I could end up a globe trotting marine biogeochemist. Make sure you let us know if you ever need another visitor at Melrose :)

      • Geoff McNamara

        Thanks Kell. Yes, I am putting together the Year 8 to 9 programme shortly. If you or any of your colleagues are able to take part, contact me directly at geoff.mcnamara@ed.act.edu.au and I’ll send an information sheet and some possible dates. I won’t have the dates until late January/early February when the school hands down its timetable for the year.

        Cheers,

        Geoff Mc

      • That sounds great Geoff. I’m sure there would be a few people interested in sharing their love of all things Earth Science at the school! I’ll pass your details on to the person in charge of media and outreach and see what we can come up with. You can always contact us at oncirculation@gmail.com if you have something specific in mind also. I look forward to working out something in the future Geoff.
        Cheerio,
        Kell.

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