Connecting Classrooms and Researchers with the Sustainable Nano Blog
Good. Evening thank. You for joining us for the teaching Nano and emerging technologies, Network webinar, connecting. Classrooms, and researchers, with the sustainable, nano lock my. Name is Quinn Spinola and I, handle education, and outreach for the National nanotechnology coordination. Office and before. Miriam, begins I just want to talk a little bit about the, network, for teachers that. We've. Been establishing. The. Network is for teachers who are using or, want to use Nano and other emerging, technologies, to inspire their students not. Only do these technologies, you know give you really cool examples, to get the kids excited like, invisibility, cloaks, and gecko inspired climbing, gloves but. Teaching nano technology will prepare your students, for the, future it's already, impacting. A lot of industry, sectors like electronics, and textiles, aerospace. Biotechnology. Medicine, and clean, energy if. You want to learn more about the, teaching, Nano and emerging technologies, network please, email, nano. Edie and, NCO. Nano. Gov. Now. On to this evenings, webinar, our. Speaker, dr. Miriam. Krause is from, the, University, of Minnesota and is the director of education and, outreach for the Center for Sustainable. Nanotechnology. Miriam. Oversees, professional. Development, activities, for CSN. Excuse. Me Miriam, oversees professional, development activities for CSN trainees, as well as the center's public outreach projects, she'll. Be discussing the sustainable, Nano blog and podcast, sustainable. - nano comm and how, these, are each projects, can be useful for K through 12 educators, go. Ahead Miriam. Wonderful. Thank you I. Want to start by saying thank you very much to to. Quinn for organizing. This and giving, me the opportunity to to. Present to this evening and to. The National. Nanotechnology initiative, and, national no technology coordination, office for, hosting, the webinar thanks, for capture gen for capturing. All the stuff that we're saying today and. Thank you very much to everyone who is. Attending. Either live or if you're watching this in video on. Delay I appreciate your taking the time I. Don't know if any of you who, had, planned to attend, this, presentation. Originally. Back on June first we had scheduled, to, do it and unfortunately I had to cancel but it was for a very good reason I, was. Expecting, a, baby and he came a couple weeks early and actually was born on June 1st so that's why I wasn't able to do the webinar on that day and. I say this partly as. An apology if anyone was trying to attend, that day and wasn't able to make it but also to warn you it's possible you may hear some seven-month-old. Noises. In, the background as we do her talk so. So. Please bear with us if that happens, so. Yeah as, Lisa said my name is Miriam Kraus and the director of education and outreach for the Center for Sustainable. Nanotechnology. And as, part of my job I get to work. On our, outreach. Program, for that Center, and that is largely. Comprises. The sustainable, Nano blog. And podcast which, is a lot of what we'll be talking about I, want to start a little bit by talking. About what the center, itself, is the. Center for Sustainable, nanotechnology. It's a it's a chemistry. Research Center that's funded by the National, Science Foundation. It's, a multi-institutional, partnership. So we have about a dozen, institutions.
Mostly Universities, and one national lab and one. Agricultural. Research Experiment. Station, faculty. Across all of those institutions about, 15, or 16 and all, of their students or well many of their students so we have I think around 60 graduate, students at, this point involved, in the center there's. A lot of people basically. Doing, big. Cross. Institutional collaborations. On. Investigating. Fundamental. Molecular mechanisms, by, which nanoparticles. Interact with biological, systems so. What. That I'll. Get to what that means a little more in a second when, I talk about the multi institution, piece this is where we, are CSN labs are, stretched across the United States so this. Is a little bit unusual for, a research center most often you even, if you have multiple labs they tend to be on one campus or at least in one city or, maybe a kind of a hub-and-spoke model, where, you have a lot of people at one place and then a few collaborators, around the country but. The CSN is very very distributed and that. Produced. A little bit of a challenge as the center was getting started, because. Of course the National Science Foundation, has. Places, of some great, importance, on doing. Outreach to the public because you know the public is funding, the science and and you, know we need to be. Able to communicate. To them what we're doing and. Traditionally. That is often done through in-person. Outreach, events where maybe. At a Science Museum or at an on-campus event, where the public can, come and chat with researchers, and find out what they're doing, but. The Center for Sustainable nanotechnology, had to figure out a way to, do. Something do outreach that what didn't involve everyone, being in the same place at the same time and, what. They decided to do was to focus on online outreach and. That started, off as a blog in in, just. The last about a year and a half, expanded. Into a podcast so we'll talk a lot more about that as we go along tonight. Um. Going. Back to the research goal specifically, for the center I mentioned. The what. They call the nano bio interface, so, basically, because, it's a chemistry Research Center they're really focused on using fundamental chemistry, so, it's not this. Is in contrast it's not a medical, research. We're not they, don't do stuff with you know human health applications necessarily. It's not an engineering, centre so, they're not, developing. Necessarily. New technologies. Directly, but they're really interested, in the kind of molecular level, interactions, of what happens when, nanoparticles, interact with, biological, systems so this is an example from an actual CSN paper, where. They were looking at gold. Nanoparticles. And what happened when they came in contact with a cell, wall of a bacterial. Species. And I. Am, NOT a chemist so I can tell you a little bit about what. Happens here and in fact that makes me I think is. A benefit, as I'm working on outreach because I come. At the communication. From a lay, person's perspective rather, than from the, professional. Chemists respect but. Anyway this gives you an example of the type of thing that the center does for, research and therefore. The kinds of things that are, part of the outreach goals, for the center the, sustainable, part comes, in when. We're. Looking at this question of what happens when biological, systems come into contact with nanoparticles. We. Need to find out as, you probably know if you've come to any of these talks before. Nanotechnology. Is pretty much everywhere in our in our society, it's used in all, kinds of you. Know material science, is used in in health and medicine. It's. Used for you know antibacterial. Properties in agriculture. It's all over the place but. There's not necessarily a, whole lot of understanding. Yet about. What. Happens, when those. Nanoparticles get. Out into the environment so you. Know if you have a, say. You have a shirt that's got silver, nanoparticles in, it to make it antibacterial. That's, great but then when you wash that shirt 50, times and, those silver nanoparticles maybe, get into the wastewater that comes out, of your house what. Happens when the they get into then into the waste stream or what happens when thousands. And millions of. Households. Have that kind of, waste. Product so this, is the kind of thing that the Center wants to find out and and, what, they're learning I can tell you you, know spoiler, at this point what, they know is that it depends different. Nanoparticles, have different, effects. On different types, of bacteria different, types of cell walls dip. Can depend on the type of coating of the nanoparticle so the goal of the center. And. If we continue. To get our funding from NSF we. Have the potential to be a ten-year center which is a very long term.
Project. The goal is to figure out if, we can learn some patterns about that and maybe even, learn. How to synthesize new. Types of nanoparticles, that are going to be as, benign as possible, and that. Leads us to this kind of overview of the, chemistry. That they do it's. A chemistry center like I said but because of this focus. On the environment in biological systems, it also overlaps, with biology. And environmental science, toxicology. So. They. Different, parts of the center do. Different, aspects, of this work and they of course collaborate, with each other a lot so there's some things about synthesis. Or how to how to make new nanoparticles, there's, some stuff about. Investigating. Nano material exposure which would be the example that I showed you in a previous slide, they're, developing new instrumentation. Of like how do we even see, these things that we want to study there. Are computational, chemists involved in the center so they're using computers to model, what. Happens to you know as the different atoms interact, with each other what, do we predict that they're gonna do. Nano. Material. Induced. Biological, responses so what happens in that bacterium. For example if it is exposed to nanoparticles or they get inside. What. What. Kind of what happens to its metabolism, or what happens to its. Genome. That kind of thing and then, as I said ultimately, the goal is for a redesigned to come up with safe. Things. That we can predict will be safe rather, than not knowing when we go into it so. All of that is kind of the backdrop on, I should say please. Feel free to ask. Questions as we go I'm very happy to be interrupted, otherwise, I will just keep steam, rolling along but um you, can type into the chat box or and. I think someone, can then I may, even see it or someone can relay it to me so so. All of this is kind of late gives you the background of, the, science. That is the primary. Purpose. Of the, Center for Sustainable nanotechnology. Right the National. Science Foundation funds. This big collaborative. Research center across, all these universities, the, main thing they do is science. Anything they do is research but, it's also as I mentioned really important, for the National Science Foundation, to do what they call broader impacts. Which you may have heard of before that's kind of an umbrella term that covers. You. Know what, are the other benefits. Besides. Just, the scientific output of this Center and that. Includes things like training. New scientists. So all these graduate, students that are part of the center we do professional, development we try to make sure that they are prepared to go out in the world after they graduate, and. It includes public outreach and. The. Goal of overall, for the stand public outreach we. Sum it up by saying the, goal is to enhance the understanding, of an engagement with, nanotechnology, and sustainability, by the general public so, both of these pieces are actually really important. Understanding. Obviously is, great like we want people to we. Want to be able to kind of increase. The general public's. Accuracy. And what they know about nanotechnology. To understand, you, know nano, nano scale, is really really really small they, have some concept of how what that means or have a, knowing. Facts about. How. Nanotechnology. Is used or understanding. It's. Great if they can understand learn something about the electromagnetic spectrum by, by, hearing.
Our Work about, you. Know like. Electron. Microscope microscopy or something like that just. As an example but. The engagement part is actually also really important so even if someone comes away from one of our outreach activities, and, doesn't. Hasn't. Quantitatively. Increased, their knowledge about nanotechnology. But. It, they come away feeling like they, are more engaged some, they, liked. What they heard there, it makes them interested, to learn more if. They come away feeling like they, have. A sense that you. Know this Center. Is doing worthwhile. Science, right kind of just getting that. General. Scientific, literacy. Idea. So. The understanding and engagement go hand in hand basically. And. As. I mentioned before the. Main. Outreach. Kind of activity. That the Center has, done from the very beginning is this blog called, sustainable now and it's, at sustainable, - nano comm as as, Lisa mentioned earlier, and we, call it our outreach hub because, there's there's a whole lot of other activities, that we end up doing but, we try to kind, of tie them all back into the blog one way or another and this is a here's. A screenshot of one, post. This can about the landing page looks like of the blog and, we. Also have. A we, call our sister site which. Is called nano sustainable a and it's, now assist me blade has. Spanish. Translations, of a whole bunch of our blog posts and the idea there is to, increase, access to. This, content. To, people who might not be as comfortable with English and. My rat might prefer to get their science. Content in Spanish and where. We've done a couple different. Approaches. To this we've, used. Some undergraduates. Kind, of student translators, we've, used a professional translation service we're, still figuring out what the best way it's, interestingly. I'm. Not a fluent Spanish speaker so, it's been interesting to me to discover, it's. Kind of a specialized, skill. To be able to obviously. You know it's a specialized skill to be able to do science, communication. In the first place and then, to be able to translate. From, one language to another, and maintain. That kind of accessibility. In. Tone right you don't want to be too technical you don't want to be too, informal. So. It's an interesting. Project. If not to work on this necessity of life but but. That's something that we're hoping that, that'll will, increase access to people who are.
Primarily Spanish, leaders. I should say so. There's a link to that on the main blog site we. Also in, most of our blog posts, we. Try to include links, to educational. Resources for, k-12, educators, and. So, we'll have a little section at the end that basically links to outside, resources. So this is these are not things that we have developed in the center well. Actually in this example here there is a we. Linked to a previous, post so, that is something from within the center but mostly, it'll be things like here's. A lab. Summer, program, from UCLA, or here's, something at scholastic comm, that has a you. Know. Suggestions. For classroom activities that, are related to the content of that blog post so. This is something that we we, hope is of use to two k12 educators and when we get toward, the end of this we'll. Get to the part where I ask you. What. You think is useful and and whether this is the kind of thing that, um you. Would actually use in your own classroom. Clicking. On thing there we go we. Also of, course because we are a science. Blog. We include primary, references, so we try to be diligent about sourcing, our, information. So, that's always there at the end of. Course we have test links to social media we're pretty, active on twitter. Our handle, is just at sustainable, Nano all one word we, do a fair. Amount on Facebook I had gotten, us onto Pinterest because someone, said that was a good idea and as. The so does the outreach. Person it's kind of my task, to to. Staff. These social, media things and I haven't been super active on Pinterest but that's something else I'm curious to hear about from. Educators. Perspective that if interest, is something that that, you all use a lot it. Could be worth us putting a little more effort into it. We. Have a link a box. Where you can click to submit some questions or, some. Comments. On the blog and then. Of. Course we have a link to all of our podcast, episodes, and I'll talk more about the podcast in a little bit. So. Who writes these blog posts we try, to aim for an average of about one, every week or so you, might be once every two weeks and. It's. Largely written by our graduate, students which is I think, fantastic. It gives them a chance to practice. Their science. Communications, so it's really we. We. Designed this whole thing as equally, almost, a professional development exercise, for the students as it is an outreach activity, so. About half of the posts are done by, little. Less than happen are done by graduate students, staff. Is me, and a couple of other people in the center faculty. Actually are quite active as well and, then we have a few undergrads, some of our postdoctoral trainees. Guests. Actually we enjoy having guest posts sometimes. Reee. Is an interesting group that's our we have a research. Education. Program, that we do in the summer and so. We have three posts that were specifically, written by those. Participants. About their experience, which is pretty cool and then we have an actually an embedded journalist, program that we've done, a little bit with where. We invite a student, journalist to come and kind of hang out in one of our labs and then, write about that experience so the, the point of this post is that it's really it's a very distributed. Thing. Across our Center as designed, right this is something that everyone in the center is supposed to be able to participate with even though we're spread out across the country and and. They really do the graduate students get a lot out of it and they they, cover a wide wide, range of. Topics. And the. Folks picture down here are, our peer editing team and one of the ways we make this a useful professional. Development, activity. For our students, is that they, don't just write. The write a post and and kind of dump it on the website and then it's done we, have a pretty extensive editing, process. Where they they write a draft and they work with a peer editor to revise it several times. And. That peer editor works, with them on things like, tone. And, finding. A good hook and structuring. The. Posts in an accessible way cutting. Down on jargon, doing, all kinds of stuff to make it actually. A, good, blog post, and. I'll talk a little bit more about that process. In. A little bit so. I want to give you some examples, of some of the posts that we have done I've. Got a few just I grabbed, a few of our most popular sort, of all-time. Most, viewed blog, posts, and they, tend to be things I guess not surprisingly, that are. Kind of google it so you. Know we, were to strategize, on sort of search engine, findings. This, one is one of the most popular posts ever over. The course it was written in 2013, so over the course of the four. And a half years. It's. Had I. Think. About 45,000. Views which, is great but, so if somebody Google's, how, does a lithium-ion battery work.
This. Blog post can pop up for them and. So. I think you know that's the kind of thing where, again. It's got pretty wide appeal, this, one's similarly, how. Do black lights work. Why do highlighters, look so bright so this was someone actually, worked pretty hard to make a. Headline. Or a title that, actually would be kind of searchable and this is just a fun, this. Is our student actually who wrote it talking, about how you can make flowers, glow, under. UV, light and, you, might say to yourself what, does that have to do with nanotechnology and, it's, a little bit of a stretch, but there's actually a lot of interesting stuff to talk about, regarding. Like. Fluorescence. And fluorescent properties of different nanoparticles. And how we we, can use fluorescence, to do different kind of measurements, source. Of tagging, of different. Particles so we, sometimes. It's a stretch on some blog. Posts of what exactly it has to do with nanotechnology or what exactly it has to do with sustainability, and that's okay I as. Sort, of the blog. Editor I guess and. My perspective is whatever, the. The, student wants. To write about and. Is, excited to write about and is passionate about and they're in their science or, their life, as a scientist. That's. You, know that's perfect topic for the for the blog. And. Often, we will find some way you know even if it's a little bit tortured - huh - tie. It back in with sustainability, or nanotechnology somehow. Another. One that I suspect. Might, be googled. A lot by you, know first year chemistry undergrad, students. Or. Just people who are curious is, what's, the difference between diamonds. And graphite right now this clearly has a nanotechnology. Connection, and that you can go very quickly from graphite to graphene, and talk about the difference between a 3d material, and a 2d material, this. One was written it by one of our faculty members Kathy, Murphy, who's. At the University of Illinois and. Again. I think it's a nice example of something that has pretty broad appeal and isn't it's not specifically, about one of our own. Research. Projects, but. So. That said, again these three are some of the most highly, viewed. Blog. Posts over. Kind of over time we. Also do, though, encourage. Our students to write. Public. Friendly, descriptions. Of their own research and those, posts, you know maybe those will only be viewed a, few. Hundred times over the course of a year or something and. I think that's fine, we. Because, the blog has. Kind. Of a a, couple, different goals certainly, we do want to provide, accessible, public outreach. And we want to you know be great to go viral and, and get, tons of views and have people come and learn about the. Center. But, because it also has this. Professional. Development goal, where we want our students to practice, their communication. Skills and learn how to talk about their science in an accessible way, if. Not all of the posts are super popular that's, fine as long as it gives the students a chance to to. Kind of reach some. Public audience when, talking about their science. So. I have a couple other posts that I included. Here as examples, that are a little bit different, this, first one is. From last year and this is by another one of our faculty members Christy Haynes from University, of Minnesota called, what is the Mathilde effect and how can we improve recognition of women scientists, and this, is an example of a sort.
Of Category of blog posts where. What. I think, of like the like in science sort, of category, it doesn't have anything really to do in nanotechnology, other than that, dr. Haynes is one of our faculty members but. It's really important. Issue in, science. In. Is, kind of you, know how scientists. Function. In society. So the Mathilde effect if you you, may or may not have heard of it I actually had not heard of it before dr.. Hanes wrote this blog post but it's the idea the. Mathilde effect is when a woman scientist. Has. A discovery, or does some, bit. Of scientific work and a, male colleague receives, some. Most. Or all of the recognition for it and she. Does not and this is something that obviously was. Much worse in the past but there are some more, recent examples. Of it and. In fact you. Know. Anecdotally there should this still absolutely, happens this was inspired partly, by dr. Hanes. International. Women's Day was coming up and she was reading some. Stuff, about women scientists with her daughter and, she wanted, to talk about the Matilda effect so this is actually one of our more popular posts. Over the past year because it's I think really. It's, an interesting topic it's something that people are interested in and it was it has a personal, resonance in, the way the post was written and. The. Last one I threw up here as an example was something that, that. I thought, was really fun and it tied, a. Question. Of, chemistry. Very basic chemistry concept, which is mole's, an. Atomic weight and, pokemons. Go and this was one of our graduate students, Natalie Hudson snip who, was, just she, plays Pokemon go and she was I don't know how this popped in her head one day but she was wondering, if she could figure, out how many moles of gas were in this particular, type of of. Pokemon so and. It came, out right at Halloween, so. That was a that wasn't a nice. Popular. Post. As well so, again not directly. Explicitly. Nanotechnology. But certainly this, fun, sort of fundamental, chemistry concept, addressed, in a really fun way so we.
Encourage Students obviously to do that kind of thing to that's that's a little bit frivolous I think, those those make some of the best blog posts in my opinion. So. Transitioning. A little bit then we have the the blog is our main effort. We try to get all of the students to do at least one blog post a year to get that again, that writing practice they do tons, of writing, work in very. Formal, kind. Of academic or scientific writing. Mode, but. That's a very different style, they're. Obviously very different audiences, to the blog audience and so we try to give them that opportunity to, kind, of stretch their writing, muscles a little bit and think about how you. How. You. Address. Different audiences, differently in writing and I, think that's good it's. Good for them to think about in their scientific writing as well because, you. Know I think. Scientific. Writing could stand to be a little bit less. What's. The word could. Stand alia be a little bit more accessible in, general, so. Anyway. About a year and a half ago fall of 2016. We. Started, a new outreach. Effort which was the sustainable nano podcast, and this, is. For. Anyone who isn't as, familiar with podcast, it's basically an, audio, program, very, much like a radio program, but it's not it's. On, the internet so you can listen. To it streaming or you can download it and. It has different episodes, and so. We have a website. Where all these episodes are posted and. We've. Done 22, so far and we've had pretty good success. I mean I don't you know however you men measure success, we've had about 50 550, 500 downloads of our all of our episodes put, together which. I'm thrilled about since we just got started and kind. Of figuring out our way as we go I put. This a screen, shot from episode 4 up, here because, this was done with. Tons, of help from. Lisa. Feeders direct Frank winds but although from the NNI. They. Helped. Us get interviews. With students. Who were part of the generation Nano contest, and the. First year that it was run and so, we were able to put together this past episode, about nano, superheroes, and they included interviews with Lisa, and with, the students, who were finalists, in the contest that year so. We were really pleased with that episode, but. This one just, as much as the blog. Ranges. In topic. Wildly. So it at this point it's kind of it's kind of a small operation I do a lot of the I do all of the production. Meaning, like just, helping people recording, and I do the editing so it a lot of it is just kind of what I'm interested in and. Doing, some. Of the students have gotten involved as well they've done some of the interviews so for example last. Spring if. You've heard of the book lab girl by Hope Jaron she, came to. Minneapolis. Which, is where I'm based to, do a talk at Augsburg College and, a. Few of us went over to, to hear her talk and one of our graduate students again this by coincidence Natalie. Who wrote the Pokemon, blog post was, the one who got, to sit down and do an interview with her so, we, were able to have. An episode, of the podcast that was an interview with hope chairman so that was one of our more high-profile, ones, because, obviously you. Know she has quite a following as a New, York Times bestselling author and that. Was fun for us too to. Get that chance and so we've benefitted, greatly from people being willing to to. Sit down and chat with us so we've done a fair, number of mostly. Interview, format, because, that's a little easier to to, deal with and editing but the, podcast, is something that, I'm. Also curious to hear feedback from, from. Educators, about you. Know whether you use. Podcasts. In your classrooms. Or if there are if. Your students, are creating. Their own podcasts. You know what's the kind, of state of. Podcasting. In. Pedagogy. I guess this is what I'm curious about. So. As in. Addition to the blog in the podcasts are the main kind of content, that we generate but. Of course we have to be on social media as I mentioned before Facebook. And Twitter are main things we, try to say semi-active and at least. Posting. When we have new content but also you, know linking to other things. Excuse. Me so, so. That's something certainly if you are on, Facebook. Or Twitter I encourage you to connect. With us we are just sustainable. Nano all one word you can see, it here I should have put it in text as well but and. Actually you can see we, had recently tweeted. This. Picture from the matilda effect post is here because we recently tweeted the, Spanish, translation of, that post.
Had. Come up when I when I took this screenshot so. Here. We go, so. I have alluded to this already a little bit this. Concept, of outreach as communication, training so we're not only. Doing. Outreach, for. The purpose of communicating, with the public and making sure the public has access to our, spa. Science. Which is funded by by, the public they, should know what we're doing so that is very important but at the same time, we. Also want to make sure that we're taking the most advantage, of it as we can as a communication. Training, opportunity, for, the students in the center so, for, example, one, of the main ways we do this is that at. Least once a year I will do how to write for the blog a little one but webinar, for our students, and we, talk about things. Like, just. The goals of the program overall, and. Then we, talk about the process. That they go through just, the how, does the peer editing system work, but. Then we talk about sort of conceptual. Stuff when we explicitly talk about the differences, between what they've been trained to do in scientific. Writing versus what they will need to do in in. Blog. Writing. So. For example, in. Scientific, writing you. It's, expected, that in in an introduction, for example you, start with all the background, and you talk about all the work that has been done in the past and, then, you most. Likely will, gradually, lead up to the very end of your introduction you say and therefore, this. Is what we do in this this is what we're gonna describe in this article, in. A blog it's actually, completely upside-down from that you're. Much more likely to start off with, here's. What we're doing this is the exciting thing and then. You. Back up and maybe give a little bit of background about why or what's, been done before and. Of course it's much less in depth you're not going to go through an entire exhaustive, literature review, in the introduction section of a blog right so we talked about those those, different, the contrasts, in styles. So. That they they understand. That it's really different skills that they're using when they're doing these two different types of writing and, we talked about jargon, and we talked about. How. That's you know the precision of language that's, required in a scientific, article, is actually can be counterproductive in. A in, a blog post that kind of thing we. Talked about you. Know rules, about image use on the Internet so learning. About public, domain and, Creative. Commons licensing. And, that kind of thing and. Then we talked a little bit about social media and how to use social media and, good. Stuff so this, again sort of professional development.
Benefits. For for, doing this kind of outreach work. And, as I mention before, just, the you, know when we talk about the process of that communication, training they. Work with me the writers work with me first, I'm the education, outreach director is what that means, to. Refine the topic the pitch often, students, when, they first send me a topic that they want to write about they say I, want to write about such, and such for my blog post I can, almost always write back to them and say you have at least three, blog posts, worth of material, in what you've described the. First post could be this, the second post could be this and the third post could be this because they've they've, just and it's, great you know they're excited about the topic but. They. Need to kind of unpack and. Focus. And. Realize. That when. You're talking about a something. That's gonna be public friendly, you. Can, really. Break, it down a lot more than they do initially, so once they've refined that pitch then I assign, them to one of the peer editors who again are down here and the, writer and the peer editor then go through two or three revisions, and this is a nice exercise for the peer editor as well because they're getting to see. To. Practice, those editing skills and some mentoring skills, and. So. They go back and forth in its course it saves me time, because I'm not doing. The entire editing process for all the blog posts and then, when they have a semi final draft they send it to me and then, I do yet, another round of it it's with. Them before we actually get. It posted on the website. So. Um. This. Is perfect I've kind of zipped through a lot of this stuff because, I wanted to save plenty of time for discussion and, I, have two kind. Of two slides here of questions, for you so, thinking, about how sustainable, now can help K, through 12 educators, or. How it can be useful and you. Know the first kind of obvious. Things that we've done so far is that we have and, you can sign up for an email alert whenever we have a new blog post and, as. I mentioned earlier we do have those in.
Most Of the posts not all we've, tried to include at least a few, educational. Resources, at the end so, classroom, activities, or, you. Know good videos that are related to the topic of the blogpost that might be relevant. For educators, but. But. I'd like to hear from. Our participants, what. What. You think additional. Things might make the blog and podcast. In. Their current form more beneficial so for example, we, have not been putting those educational, resources in the show notes of each podcast, so podcast, episode so, that's one obvious thing that I could, imagine might be useful if that's something that you would, actually. Take. Advantage of potentially, as, an educator looking at these resources. But. The second, part is to think about what new programs, might. Make the blog and podcast more, useful to, educators. And this, is these are things I'm thinking about a little bit bigger. Point-by-point, um for. Example, things, like. Would. You. Take, advantage if there was an opportunity for a QA with, an, author of a blog post you know would you have the students read the post and then would have them come up with questions for the. Graduate. Student who wrote it or. Should. We be convening. A group to figure out what, next. Generation science standards are, relevant, to each blog. Post that seems a little daunting, to me not as you know someone who's not, familiar. With them or doesn't use them all the time it's, at its I don't, know how big of a job that would be but if that's something that would make the. Posts actually. More. User friendly for. Educators, that's something that we want to hear you. Know should we be writing little, study guides to go with the podcast episodes, and if so what would be useful for that. What. Kind of interactive. Stuff could we do with your students, are there things where you know you have, the students submit. Questions. That could, turn into blog posts or podcast episodes. With. The students want to actually produce, some of these things themselves and maybe go through that editing. Process, to learn about how, you pitch. You know how do you craft a story for a blog post or how do you interview. Someone for a podcast so these are all things that I've kind. Of toyed with, over. Time but I don't. Know you, know this is, one of the reasons I was excited to take the, chance to do this webinar is that I was hoping that I could get, some feedback from real, live educators. About, the kinds of things that you might find useful if. You're trying to bring concepts. About nanotechnology, and sustainability, for chemistry, in general, to. Your students, so, those are the things that I have. And. I'm you know want to make sure I cover this slide which is to say thank you very much for attending, and for listening these. Is my contact information here our. Twitter handle, this is the blog and. Of course there's a link to the podcast there, the, podcast direct. URL. Is just podcast doc sustainable, - amacom and this, last URL, is for our Center website, itself so. You know I certainly encourage you to take, a look at that as well but, to. Go back this. Is the point where, I'd. Love to hear questions obviously, you don't have to answer this directly but any questions about any of the stuff that I've talked about but. I'd love to just kind of launch into a discussion of what what. You, in the audience would. Find. Useful or how how, do you use blogs. Or podcasts, in general, in. Your in your classroom, so yeah, open it up to anyone who has questions or comments Thank, You Miriam. That was great, oh, we, already have a question because I have some myself. But. I'll just read it out loud so that when this is archived people can hear it but this was somebody. Was just wondering about your how. Do you know how successful your activities, your outreach activities, are how are you measuring it just through hips on your your, blog. Posts, are you circling. Back with any. Educators. Or have people are the comments how are you figuring that out yeah. That is a great question so we. Are still we're. Still working, on that we still figured out we certainly look, at our analytics, and, count, our hits and we like to report to NSF, like, I said you know we know one of our a couple, of our most popular posts. Of all time have you know 44,000. Hits and and, overall, I think we're close to half, a million hits on the blog you, know and it's been around for five years so we're certainly not, not, a superstar, but but people come to the block so that that makes us happy right um but it's also the kind of thing where I don't know.
What's. What, what's. The number that makes us successful if, we were getting five, hits a day would that be good enough you know that's, five people who are looking at our blog every day if we were getting 18, million that would be great too right so, so, that's one thing um we've. Talked, about. Wanting. To do kind of a focus group so, through, the blog kind of recruiting, um. Some. Likes like, super users you know people if we can find people who actually read, the blog faithfully, to, talk to them and say what do you like about it what do you get out of it how do you use it and. Be able to have that as our another. Metric. How. We how. We're successful. Doing. Something like this where we can get feedback from real. People who might. It's. Great and then, something, we just did this past fall is. That. We went to the. Minnesota. State Fair has. A collaboration. And a collaborative program with the University of Minnesota where. Researchers, can propose. To do a. Data, collection at the state fair so we actually went to the state fair for a, couple. Half-day sessions, and we, had about 400, people fill out a survey well, we call to the survey it was an experiment, there were two different conditions one. Where they read a blog post and one where they read a Wikipedia, article and we, had. Were. Able to measure. Whether. They, basically. Were trying to measure engagement so, we gave. Them an opportunity at the end of the study to sign, up for getting, blog, updates that, was one of our measures of engagement is do they want to know more we offered. Them a chance to. To. Read a second, article so that was another another, measure of engagement we're actually still in the middle of analyzing. That data but we've got some evidence now from. These four hundred people who, were just not, necessarily, sort, of normal, science, blog readers. Of. Weather reading a blog article a, blog posts made, them kind of wanna, want, to know more and. So there's, we're promising information. From that so that that we're pretty excited about that but but, the short answer is it's it's difficult. And. And it's a little bit of a, open. Question now I think even in the literature there's not a ton of research, out there about, kind. Of blog engagement. Or to, what extent science, blogs I. Think. I think, certainly people who enjoy reading them enjoy reading them that's not a question but there's, an extent to which you've got a science, curious, audience, is one way I've heard it referred to which is people that are already interested in science and. They. Or may not you. Know you may or may not be reaching people, outside, that that. Audience with a blog and maybe that's okay maybe there's other mechanisms. For. Doing outreach with with with. The different populations but anyway. That was a little bit of a rambling answer but I think it's a really good question. To.
Ask About how we measure success. Looks. Like there's another oh there, is and actually I was wondering about this too I think you covered it briefly but but maybe if you want to go back and give, more information but, I'm. Guessing they're asking if their students K. Through 12 students could submit ideas for, blog posts I was actually wondering that too and I think you did mention you can subscribe was, there also a place to submit, ideas. Yeah. Absolutely so, I will say I would encourage you if you're interested to have, your students do something like that to email me directly and, I will put, my. Contact. Information, back up here, cuz. Then I will or, I guess you could tweet at me too I'll definitely see that um email, or Twitter are the ways. That I will see it for sure we do have that kind of ask, a question button on the blog and. As you can imagine that, attracts. A fair amount of spam so I don't always attend. To it as. Promptly, as I should, so. I encourage you we would love to hear from from your students about what questions they would have. And. It could be really about anything obviously if it's if it's tangentially, related to sustainability, or nanotechnology that's, ideal but but, we've had or, anything and, there's. Linus. Hi. Linus, alright great thank you um. Yeah. I might submit some blog ideas to you. Until. We see other people post, some questions I'm, gonna take this opportunity to ask a couple of things that I thought of while I was listening to you Miriam. You mentioned having a webinar on how to write a good blog post for students, is that, something that's available online is, that something other people could, take advantage of or is it just for. The. People that are involved in, the sustainable, Nano blog, that. That's, a great question it never occurred to us to do it more publicly, it's really it's it tailored, very specifically, to our grad. Students so you know I talked about that, you know how to how, to think about your own research, project, and and the. Type sort of categories, of posts that we tend to have on sustainable, Nano but.
But. The idea of doing something, that similar. To that but that would be more broadly. Applicable, as, a cool idea and certainly if there was for. Example say if there was a classroom that wanted to do a project where the students wrote blog posts, I would, be delighted to work with them on on, how to do that. That's. A that's a nice offer, oh I looks, like we're gonna be getting another question. It's. Good um. Let's. See, Oh somebody. Else interested, in learning more about blog posts yeah I think I loved, your point about thinking, that scientific, writing needs to be and. Then. You pause and I can't remember what you were do you thought of but in my head I filled your sentence in with a, little, more fun. So. Yeah. The. Word that came to my mind talking about scientific writing yeah is that it tends to be stuffy. Stuffy. Or pretentious and of course it doesn't have to be but the the, it's. Easy to fall into that when you're doing that very formal. Is is I guess the, polite. Way to say it scientific, writing is. The. Style it tends to be very formal and that serves. Its purpose, but, it doesn't those skills don't work in, here when you're trying to write a blog post so. Yeah. So you're interested in in doing some kind of a blog. And. A training thing do. Please drop me an email be great to, figure. Something out oh yeah. That sounds great I feel like that would be useful for anyone in everybody who's interested in science communication err in general. I, was. Wondering could you talk a little I know I'm taking. Up time I'm waiting for other people to ask. Questions but I like, the idea that you're working with student, journalists are these undergrads, from the school, do they approach you is it something that you put out a call how do you find these. Journalists. And are they undergraduates. They. Are undergraduates, we, actually it's been a very small program so far apart Lee because of those questions you've assets we haven't, done like a broad. Recruitment. Effort it's been mostly, folks. Who so. We have one of our labs as I mentioned we have these you know twelve. Different universities, or institutions where, we have people one of them is Northwestern, University, in Chicago and, northwestern. Is associated, with the Medill School of, Journalism and, so. Our faculty member there knew, somebody at, the School of Journalism and basically, said hey you have any students, who want to come in at my lab for a, day and so so, it's been very kind. Of word-of-mouth so, far I'm. One. Of the one. Of the many things on my to-do list for the coming years to think, about ways to expand, that and you know approach other potentially. Other schools of journalism, or or, specifically, science writing programs, right, where, you know there's a program at MIT and, there's one at Santa Cruz I think UC Santa Cruz that has specifically a science journalism. Program. Where that, might be a great place to find. Student. Could be undergraduate, students or even potentially, master's students at that level who, would want to spend a, day, or a week kind. Of shadowing some of our Center. For Sustainable nanotechnology, scientists, and again, I think this is totally a win-win situation because it's a chance for the journalists, to, talk. To real scientists, and and get some in-depth, education. About their work and get. To know the scientists as people and, it's a chance for our scientists, to get to, talk. To a real live journalist, and it. Kind of learn about their process so. So. Yeah that's a it's a program that has been been very small so far but we're hoping to expand it.
Before. We get to it looks like some other questions have been posted, I are, you aware of the triple a mass, media, Fellows, Program, which is, to put. I. Was. Gonna say I'm aware of it only from talking to a couple of people. Including yourself. Who. Participate, but I don't I don't know a whole lot of the details, well. It briefly. Because that's not what this is about it's just putting. Basically. Science. Students, not necessarily PhDs. I think bachelor's and even, people currently going to school into. News. Putting. Them for the summer into newspapers or. Embedding. Them or CNN, actually it takes one but, different different, places to, help, them work on their science journalism so I'm wondering if there would be an opportunity to to. Point out something with these big NSF, funded. Centers embedding, a. Journalist. Student. For. That purpose I I think. That would be really valuable for all and all right we've got a couple of questions, one. Is actually wondering, if have you had a lot of interactions. With high. School teachers yet you've got a lot of questions for them here but if you've, had any feedback so far if you. Know if is there any way to tell if you're audience I guess is. Students. And then also oh it looks like somebody's interested in learning more about Pinterest, I've heard teachers like Pinterest, as well, so, I hope, that, is true, yeah. So um the. Question about teachers, we haven't had any direct feedback. I heard from an undergrad. Instructor. That they used now, I can't remember which post it was actually. It's. Just let my mind but they they let me know that they used one of our posts, in, their class so. That was quite gratifying and, then. We've. We. Know some, demographics. Like from our Facebook user. Profiles, and stuff but, we don't and, we've tried to do a couple of like reader surveys, but, we've gotten very low response you, know which is which is to be expected anytime, you do a survey if you can get even sort, of 10% of the people involved to reply you're lucky. So. We haven't done. Don't. Know basically, is the short answer we don't know how many high school teachers if any are using the posts and that's part of why like, I said what, I'm hoping might come out of this is even, to get some contacts, from people of how. I could reach out better to. So. Teachers and and, make sure they they, just know that the blog exists. As a resource and then to get feedback from them about how to make it a more, useful one and, then the question about Pinterest. Yeah so, this is actually somebody told me like the teachers like, to use Pinterest and so I was like okay I'm gonna be on Pinterest but, it's not something that I had.
Used Before myself so. I was a little bit. Stumbling. Around and kind of trying to figure out what we've mostly, posted, on there was links. To our own blog posts which i think is not necessarily. The most. It's. Not going to attract users. It's not going to be something that people would necessarily find, in searches, on be, very. Grateful to hear such questions of how. Like. How to make Pinterest, useful. For us and for like, you. Know how how. Is Pinterest interactive, in. That you. Know obviously you post stuff on your page and other people click on it but. I'd. Be curious to hear how teachers in. A practical, sense like how you use Pinterest I. Think. I'm going to thank, Miriam, so much for, taking the time to do this and, I. Will follow up with you of course Miriam. Afterwards. And thank, you to everyone who logged. In now and, for the people who watch this on YouTube. Later and I, hope everyone has a good night, thank. You so much it was a pleasure and yeah I look forward to hearing from people of both. Online now and and people who watch this in your archive later.