ESS Department -Oct 4th, 2018
From justifying the broader impacts of our funded research, to a desire to increase the diversity of up and coming scientists and engineers, science research isn't just about communicating your results to other people in your field. In this talk I will describes a multi-faceted approach to delivering results from current research in Astrobiology to visitors to Pacific Science Center, and the evaluated results of the impact of the work. Content was delivered through 1) training scientists to communicate effectively with the public, 2) providing the trained scientists with venues to engage with the public, 3) creation of two Science on Sphere shows highlighting key tenants being investigated by the scientists, 4) creation of a hands-on activity to facilitate interactive learning, and 5)creation of a temporary exhibit highlighting current research on the topic. Evaluation of visitors that engaged with each element demonstrates that the content had a large impact on both the increase in knowledge of the visitors and the increase of interest in the topic. I will also provide tips and best practices for scientist who may wish to conduct similar types of engagement, but on a smaller scale.