As much as I love learning about Science, I love to talk about it.
I do that in various forms, broadly it’s either working at/for some institutions or by my own via Blogs on my website or Social media.
Here I describe all the fun experiences I have had in outreach.
A week-long STEMfest: Met and networked with Aerospace experts, setup telescopes, witnessed Rocket competition and met polar bears!
Cronyn Observatory is my favorite place on campus (of Western University); and I work there. As an outreach assistant, I am involved in planning/executing/promoting the outreach events conducted by Cronyn. We host public nights (at least once a month for now) where anyone can come in – Have a look through our telescopes, enjoy astronomy demonstrations, listen to Astronomy experts and also appreciate Observatory’s heritage. It is a lot of Astronomy fun! I also get to manage Cronyn’s social media and promote our events. I started working at Cronyn in November 2021 and it has been very exciting.
In 2021, Before moving to Canada, I worked at Navars Edutech as Astronomy educator where I taught online courses to kids of grade 1 to 12 about Basic Astronomy. I also designed a 7 day course called Introduction to Exoplanets. It felt great to have students from India and many other countries like Dubai, Canada, USA, Saudi Arabia etc. Most interesting part of that job was to create analogies to make younger kids understand astronomy concepts. At end of each class, we also did hands on activities with materials that can be found in easily in one’s home. Seeing students enjoying the courses was very fulfilling.
Science Communication Intern
During my second year of college, I was awarded Science Communication internship at IISER Pune’s Science Media center. I did many projects there, including outreach via Interview type videos. Yes, I got to interview Professor’s and their senior PhD students about their research and making a short movie out of it. It was my first experience filming in professional studio (with all those lights and green screens, haha!), and it was just amazing. We also took some shots in the lab and Professor Oagle’s Office. For the post production part, I used Adobe’s creative suite for editing and animations. (I am very happy how the animations turned out to be!). And finally, that video was out on IISER pune’s YouTube channel! You can find it out below.
The first such project was about Triboelectric Nanogenrator with Dr. Satish Oagle’s team and for the second project I interviewed Dr. Sudha Rajamanifrom Astrobiology department and I got to visit their lab and see how they simulate the conditions of early Earth.
Breakthrough Junior Challenge
This will always remain one of my favourite SciComm projects. So, The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual, global science video competition for high-school students. The idea is “Can you explain a big scientific idea with a short film?” One can choose any topic related to Physics, Math or Life Sciences. As you would guess I picked up a topic related to Physics an Astronomy – Physics behind finding Exoplanets. Before anything, I spent almost about 100 hours to learn Adobe after effects because I wanted to put in Solar system and spectroscopy animations in my video. I am very thankful to me for learning that – I think it’s a creative tool and I enjoy using that.
A month before the deadline, I wrote down the script, and since 3 minutes was the limit on video length, I had to cut short the script while preserving all the explanation needed for one to understand the concept. I filmed the video in a park near my house, trimmed and edited, added my animations, dubbed voice and finally submitted the video one day before the deadline. I was very happy the way it turned out to be. It was ranked in top 10% globally. Yay!! You can find my entry here.
This is where my Science Communication journey began. In 2018, during my first in year in college, I started writing Science blogs for my website on topics that I was excited about or found interesting to pen it down. Through my Blogs I have a talked about LASERs, Atmospheric Science, Medical Science, COVID-19, Rocket Science, lot of Astronomy and planetary Science, and Women in Science. I would be happy if consider giving it a read and get in touch with me on Social media to say hi and/or mention which blog you enjoyed reading.