For ComSciCon-15 National Workshop attendee Molly Gasperini, a Ph.D. student in Biology at the University of Washington, thinking about teaching and learning at the most fundamental level—the universal preparatory process of K12 education—is an everyday event.
Molly is the Outreach Coordinator for the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a graduate student-led open-access journal publishing original scholarship from middle and high school students nationwide, and her sister—Elizabeth Kranich— is a 3rd grade teacher in the Seattle public schools.
But for many graduate students, even those highly invested in performing and advancing science communication like ComSciCon participants, the audience and resource constraints of the K12 classroom can seem a world apart from other venues targeted for science communication.
In pursuit of a dual mission to increase the interaction between the broad base of practicing researchers in science—graduate students—and the K12 classroom, ComSciCon organizers have been developing a new initiative called BiteScis, which will create a new web resource focused on making the methods and modern practice of scientific research accessible to the next generation of scientists. Molly and Elizabeth have been prominent contributors and thought leaders in the organization of BiteScis.
The vision for BiteScis, and the extensive work by ComSciCon organizers and participants that has already gone into building the program, was highlighted in a recent conference contribution by Co-Founder Cara Battersby. You can find Cara's poster attached below.
Cara's presentation was delivered at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Florida in January of 2016. The AAS is a sponsor of ComSciCon's national workshop programming.
At the ComSciCon-2014 National Workshop, we introduced a session focused on K12 education. Presentations and active sessions by K12 teacher leaders like Kristen Cacciatore, academic education researchers like Todd Zakrajsek, and others introduced ComSciCon graduate student attendees to the emerging trends and continuing need for innovation and effective practice in K12 science education. This session was revamped and expanded for our 2015 workshop, and will serve as a continuing basis for generating collaborations between graduate students and educators participating in the BiteScis program.