Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Helping Scientists Become Effective Partners in Education and Outreach



How does a scientist find herself standing before a group of lively third-graders? She may be personally motivated—seeking to improve public understanding of scientific issues and the nature of science, or to see her own children receive a good science education—or perhaps she simply enjoys this kind of work [Andrews et al., 20057semi; Kim and Fortner, 2008].

In addition to internal motivating factors, federal funding agencies have begun to encourage scientists to participate in education and outreach (E/O) related to their research, through NASA program requirements for such activities (see “Implementing the Office of Space Science Education/Public Outreach Strategy,” at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/pubs/edu/imp_plan .htm) and the U.S. National Science Foundation's increased emphasis on “broader impacts” in merit review of research proposals (see http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf032/bicexamples.pdf).