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Communicating Science For Change

Communicating Science For Change

Monday, January 18 - Friday, January 29, 2021 EST

Online Course

Presented By

The New York Academy of Sciences


Communicating Science For Change
Communicating Science For Change

This course will be a mix of individual student work, sharing and discussing, and group work, grounded in fundamental concepts and examples presented by the instructor.

The course will launch with a collaborative analysis of the rationale(s) for communicating about science and how those relate to the suite of potential audiences. Participants will work to customize science communication for particular audiences, refining messages to be audience-focused. The course will offer insights and opportunities to practice how to make your science writing compelling.

The course will also cover visual support for sci-comm. Participants may bring their own interests in specific science topics, as well as skills in photography or graphic art, to the task of science communication. We will analyze the various platforms for communicating science, looking at how to write and submit. A special lesson on interviewing and video appearances will orient participants to the unique challenges of sharing science on camera. Students, through peer review, will refine their prototypes for the final Student Showcase.

$495/student for this two-week camp

Week 1: January 18-22

Week 2: January 25-29

Online via Zoom. Two hours of in-person teaching time with intermittent group breakout sections Monday through Friday. Students will be assigned work outside of class to be completed independently and in small groups.

Daily Monday through Friday, 4:00-6:00PM EST

Dr. Devin Reese is a Ph.D. turtle ecologist with several decades of experience in science communication. She has worked in the U.S. for the Smithsonian Institution, as well as overseas for the U.S. Agency for International Development (in Bangladesh, Central America, Panama, and Southern Africa. Devin currently freelances as a science writer for science-related programs, including PBS-Eons, SciShow, Embibe-India, WWF-Peru, and Newsela. She has taught science and/or science communication to a variety of age groups, from preschool through college. She specializes in making complex science ideas comprehensible to broad audiences. Devin lives in Northern Virginia and thrives on the digital reach of online science communications; see her science writing here:


Participants in this course will come away with an understanding of the who, what, why, when, where, and how of science communication:

  • WHY science communication is valuable and transformative;
  • WHO you can reach as audiences for science communication;
  • WHAT sorts of content and messages can be communicated;
  • HOW effective science communication products are crafted;
  • WHEN and WHERE science communication is published.

This course responds to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for high school students to “Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically).”

Students may also gain experience with one or more of the following specific NGSS communication standards:

HS-PS2-6 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.

HS-PS4-4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Evaluate the validity and reliability of claims in published materials of the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter.

HS-PS4-5 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.

HS-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.

HS-ESS1-3 Earth's Place in the Universe

Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.

Science communication is the art of sharing science through text, media, and other modalities in a way that is customized to target audiences.

Science communication has become relevant for any student going into any profession. The evidence-based nature of science makes it informative and essential for a whole range of topics we deal with as a society.

Students may find special resonance with this topic now, as we are facing multiple global issues that require science (pandemics, environmental changes, equity issues).

Students will have the chance to learn and practice the art of communicating science while bringing their own ideas and knowledge to the products.

As an enrichment course, Sci Comm has more latitude for student inquiry and leadership. Students will find that their voices are important in shaping the course outcomes.

Online sessions will meet weekdays, Monday to Friday from 4:00-6:00pm EST. Additionally, students can expect to spend between 5-10 hours outside of class on activities and projects.

Our STEM Camps are for high school students (grades 9-12) only.

The ideal student is self-motivated and eager to deepen their understanding of STEM-related subjects.

There are no prerequisites other than an interest in STEM-related subjects.

Select the camp that you are interested in and scroll down to register.

Payment is due immediately upon registration. The deadline to register is Wednesday January 13.

The two-week camp costs $495/student.

Unfortunately, discounts and scholarships are not available at this time. We hope that this is something we can offer need-based students in the future.

All registrations and payments are final and nonrefundable. Families are not able to reschedule or transfer into a different camp, once registered, so please consider course choices carefully. The Academy has the right to cancel the camp for any reason. If for any reason the Academy, cancels or postpones camp, registered participants will have the option to receive a refund or credit.

Students will earn a certificate from the Academy for successfully completing a STEM Camp.

The courses will be delivered via Zoom. A laptop or computer (Macs &amp PC’s both ok) with access to the Internet is required. In some cases, access to mobile devices will also be required. Additional software requirements vary by camp - please see individual STEM Camp details for more information.

If you are experiencing issues for any reason, you can contact

You can share feedback directly with the instructor or by emailing Families will also be invited to complete a survey at the conclusion of the program, to provide additional feedback.