Thursday, March 15, 2012

A good science presentation

Next week we will focus on how to give a good science presentation, as well as continued work on your audio segment scripts.  To get ready for next week you should:

  • Watch this video on Talking Science
  • Choose a topic for your 5-minute presentation
  • Work with your group on a first draft of your audio project script and bring it to class
Your script should contain a hook in the introduction that will arouse your audience and use the 3-act structure we have talked about in class.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some audio project research

029.5After a well deserved break we will be jumping back into audio project development when we return to class on March 14th, along with some more discussion of the assessment test.  To prepare for next week you should do the following:

  1. Write an approximately 500 word post for your blog related to the topic for your audio project.  The research you do for this post will ideally be of use as you develop your project.
  2. Think about possible structure for your audio project.  Your group will spend some time in our next class planning out the scripts for your projects.
  3. Select three questions from the assessment test that you would like to discuss in class.  These can be questions on topics that you would like to review, questions that you think did not fairly assess your knowledge of biology, or areas that you think the Department can do a better job covering.
  4. Bring your scantron to class.  I will need to collect these from you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Break is almost here

Just a couple things left to do before we all get a little downtime:
  1. Finish the assessment test and get it to me by the end of Monday.  You can put it in my mailbox in the science office or just slide it under my office door.  Bring your copy of the test questions with you to class.
  2. Talk to the members of your audio project group about the scope of your project and be ready to present your ideas in class this coming Wednesday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Pitch

For this coming week's class be ready to give a pitch for your radio segment idea.  You will have up to one minute to explain your idea and to try and convince the class that it should be produced.  Look over the Olson book section on elevator pitches and storytelling as you lay out how you will present your idea.  Think about what science could be presented, what interviews and/or audio could be included, and what would be engaging about your story.

As a class we will select 3-4 of the ideas and then split into production groups to start working on them.

You should also be ready to share with the class the critique you did of one of your classmate's blog posts, and how it followed the 3-act structure discussed in class.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Storytelling structure and radio project prep

Freelance reporter Gretchen Cuda,
our next class visitor
No new blog posts required for this week (but feel free to add one if you like), but I do have some reading, listening and thinking for you to do for next week's course:

  • Read over your fellow students' posts from this past week and see how well they fit the 3-act structure you read about in Olson's book, and that we talked about in class this week.  Pick at least one post that used 3-act structure and take notes on how it did so.
  • Listen to some science radio segments on NPR's website.  Look for stories that are about 3-4 minutes in length, like those played on All Things Considered or Morning Edition.  Think about the structure of these stories as you listen to them.  Do they follow 3-act structure?  Do they have interviews?  What sound effects are used?
  • In preparation for our visit next week by Gretchen Cuda, check out her profile on LinkedIn.  Also listen to her radio segments on allergy treatments and kids' sugar cravings, and herbal relaxation drinks.  You can search the NPR or WCPN sites for additional samples.
  • Start brainstorming some ideas for your own radio segments and bring your thoughts and notes to class.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time for some science stories

Storytelling, Concord LibraryOver the next week I would like you to write a new post for your blog that presents something scientific for a non-science audience.  Use this assignment to practice some of the techniques we talked about in class today, as well as advice from Randy Olson's book, pages 81-118.  This chapter covers storytelling.  You can choose any science related topic you like, and your post should be approximately 500 words in length.

At the bottom of your post include a paragraph reflecting on how you incorporated the ideas we have talked about or you have read about for presenting science.

There are two more things I would like you to do for next week:

  1. Add some science blogs to your Google Reader account, including the new course blogs.  You can find Google Reader under the "More" tab on any Google page.
  2. Add at least one comment to a post from one of the three course blogs.  Feel free to also leave comments on any science blog posts you read over the week.  This will leave a hyperlink back to your own blog, and will generate some traffic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let the blogging begin

Blogging 101
Now that you have set up your blogs it's time to add some content.  Before you practice the art of communicating science to the public I would like you to do some exploring on the science blogosphere.  Your assignment for next week is to identify the two best science blogs that you find during the week and add a post to your own blog with links to these sites and descriptions of what you liked about them.  How does each blog handle the tension between accuracy and style that we discussed in class today?

How do you find science blogs?  You can start with the blogroll on the right of this page, and then use the links on successive blogs to find even more.  Be sure that at least one of the blogs you use in your post is not currently on the blogroll to the right.  This is an individual assignment, so each of you should add your own post to your group blogs.

Now for the technical stuff:
  • Here is a YouTube video on posting to Blogger.
  • Be sure to proof your posts.  There is no reason for typos.
  • Use hyperlinks to link directly to other webpages.  The video above will show you how.
  • Got questions?  Leave them as a comment below to this post and I will answer them here.  Be sure to check back for the answers.
We will be looking over your posts in next week's class and discussing the following readings:
Good luck and contact me if you are having technical issues.