Next Steps on the CAISE Media Convening, July 2011

August 5th, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you found the CAISE Media Convening a productive and worthwhile use of your time. We certainly did, and wanted to thank each one of you for your participation and contributions to the discussion. Topics clearly surfaced included a desire to learn more about each-other’s projects, finding ways to think more deeply about engagement strategies around STEM media, suggestions to consider outcomes such as capacity-building as part of our work, and the need to continue to innovative in our use of new media technologies to reach niche, and networked learners.

One of the intended outcomes for the convening was to identify and prioritize critical issues faced by ISE media producers, and then develop a set of shared objectives around which we could collectively begin to organize ourselves to address those issues. The group settled around three areas of action, which generated lively conversation, and some initial ideas for ways to move forward. Below is summary of discussion points that were posted on the wall from our last session with suggested next steps.

Action 1. Build a field/practice of science media professionals

Several directions were discussed here:

  1. Develop a professional society of science media makers;
  2. Conduct regular meetings, create an on-line presence/community, and reward excellence;
  3. Develop on-going training and professional development opportunities;
  4. Sponsor some strands and sessions at 2012 ISE Summit that build off the convening agenda and support cross-sector connections;
  5. Ensure the participation of a young and diverse set professionals through special initiatives;
  6. Create or support regular gatherings—(with two coordinated sub-directions): (1) Seek funding to support a one-day convening the day before or after the 2012 ISE Summit in DC (March 14-16) via a small NSF conference grant, and/or pursue a larger grant to stage a gathering (scope scale, TBD) for media professionals. If the gathering were held before the PI Summit, we may be able to extend the CAISE Summit room rates and meeting spaces to attendees. It would also give us an opportunity to discuss strategies, communication plan, review presentations and trainings prior to the Summit. (2) CAISE in its Year 6-10 renewal proposal will seek funding to support a series of on-going media convenings. CAISE needs input on the goals, scope, design, partners and outcomes for these. The CAISE contacts for this will be Marti Louw and Jamie Bell.

Short terms actions prior to the 2012 Summit:

  • Seek a conference grant from NSF for one day gathering connected to the Summit. Ari mentioned he is willing to take the lead on this. Build in funding to bring young professionals to conference.
  • Develop strands, sessions and training opportunities for the 2012 ISE Summit (CAISE to create a working group)
  • Work with CAISE to design a plan for on-going media convening as part of the CAISE renewal proposal through a proposal writing and review process

Action 2. Better Evidence—What we know, what we want to know

  1. Gather evidence of audience impacts from PI’s across the ISE media field; Note that questions, common problems, opportunities still need to be framed. CAISE to follow up with conference call, create a method to capture data, create a document for presentation with input from Media PI’s.
  2. Create a statement or body of findings from the science media field about the impact of our work.
  3. Develop a short 6-page report which synthesizes these finding and develop a strategy for sharing findings at the 2012 ISE Summit.

Short term actions prior to 2012 Summit

Action 3. ISE (Media) Awareness Campaign

  • Arrange for a series of conference calls to discuss the collection of shared experiences/impacts and assign responsibilities. Kevin Crowley and Karen Knutson from UPCLOSE/CAISE will spearhead this synthesis effort and report writing.
  • Develop a working group to begin to frame 2b prior to the ISE Summit and work on an agenda for a meeting at the Summit. Marti Louw and Kevin Crowley to be CAISE point people.

Short term actions prior to 2012 Summit

Over the next few weeks we will be sending out emails to initiate working groups of people who want come together around the above three areas of action. This will also be an opportunity to bring other colleagues into the conversation. Please email us if any of the above aspects of the CAISE media initiative are of particular interest to you, or others you might know, and how you might like to contribute. Note that Sue Ellen McCann as a CAISE Senior Advisor will also continue to contribute to and help guide our work.

Again, on behalf of all of CAISE and the NSF Informal Science Education program, we want to truly thank you for participating in this convening in support of the Media Initiative and we look forward to continuing to work with you all to refine and realize these objectives.

With gratitude,

Marti, Sue Ellen and the CAISE Team

  • The group identified the need for a communication strategy that defines stakeholder audiences and tells our story of impact and value. This effort will need to be funded, staffed and have a home in CAISE or beyond. CAISE as part of its Y6-10 planning will discuss ways to support a public awareness/identity campaign around ISE projects and more broadly for an informal science education communication strategy. Several members in the discussion group were going to return to their home institutions and explore avenues for creating a public awareness campaign specifically for STEM media. The CAISE point person for moving this discussion will be Jamie Bell.
  • Need to develop distribution channels to seed the science media story;
  • Consider a convening to broaden participation, partners and funding for an ISE communication plan
    • Organize a series of conference calls and gather feedback to form a working group;
    • Discuss how CAISE can participate and where it can be of assistance.