Skyline Earth Team focused on communicating science during the first half of March. They began by creating educational posters to hang in the 70 Hall of Skyline High School.
The interns worked in groups to choose an environmental problem that they cared strongly about. After conducting some preliminary online research, the teams set out to design posters. The posters informed their peers about the problem, the impacts of the problem and the solutions that can end the problem.
After finishing their posters, the interns hung them in the 70 Hall and took turns explaining their posters. This gave them valuable practice in explaining science in front of others.
Later in March, Oakland Unified School District closed due to COVID-19. Earth Team moved meetings online, using Zoom. This program allows interns to speak to each other and continue working on environmental projects.
After learning how to use Zoom, interns were introduced to a different way of communicating science. Instead of focusing primarily on communicating facts, interns learned how to write engaging stories about science. They learned from material adapted from a workshop run by UC Berkeley PhD student Sara ElShafie and Pixar. Interns learned how to use emotions and morals to make science more relatable to broad audiences.
The interns then shared their stories with each other through a virtual story time. We heard about how Oprah Winfrey held a beach cleanup, a female Tarzan-like character that urges people to stop deforestation, and a group of animals that stopped a CEO from furthering urbanization in their neighborhood.
Not only did the interns learn multiple ways to communicate science, they also learned how to use technology to continue working together remotely. Earth Team will continue using Zoom to guide and educate interns about environmental science and STEM careers while schools remain closed.
View the video below to take a sneak preview into an Earth Team Zoom meeting: