Katherine Alfredo and Ellison Carter
For this session PhD candidates Katherine Alfredo and Ellison Carter from the University of Texas at Austin partnered with Susan Buckey, the Senior Outreach Project Director with public media outlet WGBH of Boston and Design Squad Nation, to discuss the design of activities that promote hands-on learning. In particular, Katherine, Susan, and Ellison highlighted activities that did not work well and how these activities were changed to become more effective. The goal of the session was two-fold: 1) to instill confidence in the session participants to create, from scratch, activities directly related to their own work/research, and 2) to give several examples of how to modify an already existing activity to suit specific outreach needs. Susan showcased the numerous activities provided online through the Design Squad Nation, and showed session participants where to access valuable online resources. Katherine and Ellison presented examples from the Science & Engineering Club, founded by Alfredo and run through the SWE Graduate Committee at UT, where graduate SWE committee members create activities for middle school students based on their dissertation and thesis research. Nearly 60 individuals, many of whom shared their own outreach experiences during the discussion, attended the session. Future sessions of this kind could build on the format and content presented this year and incorporate audience surveys and breakout discussion groups to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge in the audience.