In the fall of 2012, the Center for Excitonics partnered with the Research Communications Laboratory at the Museum of Science (MOS) in Boston in order to equip its graduate students and young scientists with the skills and tools needed to communicate their research to broad technical and non-technical audiences of all ages. This comprehensive program consists of seminars, workshops, and practicum that provides coaching and unique hands-on experience using multimedia tools and resources. It includes a week-long internship and a spring call-back session with further practicum in informal science education at the museum.
The program is led by Carol Lynn Alpert, Museum of Science Director of Strategic Projects, assisted by Karine Thate, Program Manager of Strategic Projects, and since 2016, Megan Litwhiler, Research Communications Associate in Strategic Projects Group. Student assignments include the following:
- Several short readings, some brief writing assignments, sample viewing and critiquing, graphic design exercises
- Preparation of a 10-minute and a 20-minute research presentation (for use at center meetings, retreats, and conferences)
- Preparation of a research poster
- Design and audience prototyping of a novel education outreach activity (talk, demo, video, or animation) for use with public or K-12 student audiences.
Every year, eight to ten students are selected to participate in this annual program: