National Radio Astronomy Observatory Featured in the 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase

Three featured projects highlight NRAO’s commitment to equity, social justice, and creative solutions to engagement during COVID-19
Credit: STEM for All Video Showcase, NSF

Three projects from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) are featured in the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase running from May 11 to May 18, 2021.

NRAO’s three featured projects include a Chile-based STEM role models program called “PROVOCA,” a case study of the National Astronomy Consortium’s (NAC) pivot to a virtual environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a presentation and outreach development assistance program called “On-the-Spot Feedback.”

Promoting STEM vocations among girls in Chile

PROVOCA” inspires young girls in Chile to pursue careers in STEM fields by showing them that STEM careers are both rewarding and within reach. The initiative launched in 2019 with a communications campaign focused on highlighting female role models in STEM careers and has evolved to include workshops and trainings. “Role models are important for girls and young university students interested in pursuing STEM careers, but lasting impact comes from continuous support and involvement,” said Paulina Bocaz, NRAO Assistant Director for Chile. “STEM for All is a unique opportunity to share the initiative, get feedback, and learn from other projects and peers. Now the next step for PROVOCA is a mentoring program.” Watch the PROVOCA video in the STEM for All Showcase.

Keeping research students connected no matter what

Virtual NAC” follows the National Astronomy Consortium’s strong pivot from an in-person summer research program to a virtual environment in order to continue providing support and opportunities for students overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline. Angelina Gallego, STEM for All project co-presenter and NAC graduate student said, “It’s important for everyone to have equal access to STEM no matter where they are or who they are. Many are able to work from home, do research, and meet with advisors with the help of technology. Doing this helps strengthen the careers of young scientists.”  In 2020, the program was developed and delivered by NAC program undergraduate and graduate alums. Alia Wofford, project narrator and NAC graduate student said, “There isn’t the hands-on or physical instruction that we are normally used to, so we had to become more resilient and inquisitive to continue our work. STEM for All gave us the opportunity to showcase how students are adapting and coming up with unique ways to learn and share their experiences.” Watch the Virtual NAC video in the STEM for All Showcase.

Helping scientists reach their audiences in meaningful ways

On-the-Spot Feedback” supports research scientists in developing more engaging presentations about their work. “On-the-Spot Feedback has developed a great strategy for training scientists to think differently about their outreach presentations. It starts with clear goal setting for the outreach. Then, structuring the presentation to have deeper engagement with the audience using the tactics developed to get feedback from their audience and to adjust in a responsive way to the feedback they receive,” said Suzanne Gurton, NRAO Assistant Director for Education and Public Outreach. “STEM for All is a great opportunity for us to find future collaborators for these types of projects.” Watch the On-the-Spot Feedback video in the STEM for All Showcase.

Now in its seventh year, the annual showcase features more than 250 innovative projects aimed at improving Science, Math, Engineering, and CS Education, which have been funded through NSF and other federal agencies. During the eight-day event, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and members of the public are invited to view the short videos, discuss them with the presenters online, and vote for their favorites.

The theme for this year’s showcase is “COVID, Equity & Social Justice.” Video presentations address broadening participation, impacts of COVID on STEM teaching and learning, design implementation on STEM and CS programs, research informing STEM and CS teaching and learning, and measuring impact of innovative programs. Collectively, the presentations cover a broad range of topics including science, mathematics, computer science, engineering, cyberlearning, citizen science, maker spaces, broadening participation, research experiences, mentoring, professional development, NGSS, and Common Core.

The STEM for All Video Showcase is hosted by TERC, in partnership with: STEMTLnet, CADRE, CAISE, CIRCL, STELAR, CS for All Teachers, NARST, NCTM, NSTA, NSF INCLUDES, and QEM. The Showcase is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (#1922641).

Media Contact

Amy C. Oliver
Public Information & News Manager, NRAO
+1 434 242 9584

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