Rebecca Ljungren, Astronomy Education Program Coordinator, Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumThe ability to ask testable hypotheses, contextualize, and iterate on ideas is the name of the game for scientists - but science and scientific thinking should also be open to the public. Science education and communication not only builds an appreciation of science for those outside of academia, but also helps build their critical thinking skills in order to explore the universe on their own terms.
Professional science educators and communicators use many strategies to develop inclusive science education content and programming, including inquiry and projectbased learning, co-creation, and constructivist learning methods. Many of these tools and techniques can be incorporated into scientists' work to enhance dissemination into the scientific community and into the public sphere. Institutions like the Smithsonian offer career opportunities in science education and communication, where these methods can be used on many platforms to reach diverse audiences. Through educator trainings, digital content development, inperson demonstrations, and more, science education specialists at the Smithsonian work towards the goal of transforming the public's understanding of science in context.
Biography: Rebecca Ljungren is the Astronomy Education Program Coordinator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Rebecca is an expert in the intersections between science, history, and culture, creating relevant and transformative experiences for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Rebecca will share her expertise, tools, and strategies for sharing and communicating with broad audiences and expand upon careers within the field of museums, STEM education, and science communication.