What Naturalist Outreach Students Think about Doing Science Outreach:
The joy of discovery is so powerful and it’s amazing to be able to share that with someone else. I think that sharing science with the public through outreach is incredibly important because it de-mystifies the process of doing science and serves as a reminder that it is fundamentally a human process of being curious, asking questions, and seeking answers. It’s amazing to think that I can be helping to inspire the next generation of young scientists and for me, it’s a way to pay homage to some of the wonderful teachers who inspired me along the way. I feel like I am giving back to the community in a really tangible way, which is an incredible feeling. (Kristen Brochu)
Taking your Naturalist Outreach class opened a new door for me to explore, and allowed me to turn my abstract idea of outreach into a passion. I learned effective strategies on how to convey information to the students in a fun way, and was given the freedom to develop these strategies into focused, interactive, and meaningful presentations. Without your class and guidance, outreach would not have been as big of a part of my graduate student experience to date. (Mike Wolfin)
I think this class is very rewarding for several reasons. Not only am I benefiting by improving my public speaking and lesson development skills, but I feel I am making a greater impact on the community and inspiring students to pursue their dreams in the field of science. This class has reaffirmed my original career path in environmental education and outreach.
This class and the outreach has (hopefully) inspired other young students to be engaged in science, but also it has confirmed in myself how much I love doing and sharing science with other people. At the beginning of this year I was unsure about what I wanted to do after graduating, whether I wanted a more academic track, or a more informal education/extension track. This experience with this class has helped me realize that an ideal job would incorporate both with an emphasis on education . (Julia Brokaw)
Through taking your outreach course (one of the best decisions I made at Cornell), I have grown passion to reach out to young adults, but did not really understand why we need to reach out to adults. But this picture made it clear to me that outreach to adult is also very very very important. (Chris Roh)
From Mike Wolfin, Graduate student: Coming into graduate school at Cornell I was generally unfamiliar with the concept of “outreach.” Outreach was not done at my previous school, and had never even heard of the term before. Although I did come in to Cornell with a healthy enjoyment for entertaining elementary- middle school students, I did not realize teaching them science was a possibility. Taking your Naturalist Outreach class opened a new door for me to explore, and allowed me to turn my abstract idea of outreach into a passion. I learned effective strategies on how to covey information to the students in a fun way, and was given the freedom to develop these strategies into focused, interactive, and meaningful presentations. Without your class and your guidance, outreach would not have been as big of a part of my graduate student experience to date, and I don’t think I’d be as productive as a result. Outreach allows me to feel a sense of fulfillment with my work, even if I’ve had a bad day/week/month in the lab. Most importantly, I enjoy making a positive impact on the students. So, thanks for everything, and I plan to continue to do outreach events.
Right now I am in the Adirondacks working as the Director of a NYS DEC Environmental Education Summer Camp, before starting Master’s work at Yale. I want to thank you for being such an inspiring and passionate teacher. Your class was definitely one of my favorites. Environmental outreach will always be something I pursue and share throughout my career. (Becca Terry)
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