Some practical tips on how to involve teenagers in Science.
Ricki Lewis, a science writer and the author of a widely adopted college Genetics textbook, asked to me write a guest post on her popular blog DNA Science, a part of the PLOS website. I was honoured to contribute with a few tips on how to give science conferences for teenagers and high-schoolers, largely based on my successful experience with the Geni a Bordo tour. What follows is an extract, read the full article on the PLOS website.
Bringing Genomics to High School Students: A Survival Guide
(This week DNA Science has a guest post from Sergio Pistoi, a science writer and molecular biologist from Italy.)
When I gave my first conference about genomics in a high school, I thought of what Jerry Seinfeld famously said about the fear of speaking in public: “Most people would be better off inside a casket than doing the eulogy at a funeral.”
I don’t have any fear of speaking in public- I am a professional science writer and a reasonably experienced presenter. However, the mission of getting a few hundred teenagers to drop their jaws at the marvels of DNA and –omics stuff made my self-confidence wobble for a moment. High school students are incredibly bright and curious — but an auditorium packed with them? Mmm, it can quickly turn into a distracting, noisy environment, in particular with an unprepared speaker. At least, that’s what I believed.
Today, after talking about genomics with over 10,000 teenage students, I still think it’s not easy. But I learned how to make such events work most of the time. And I know they can be awfully rewarding, with the right approach and a good deal of planning.