Nalini Nadkarni https://nalininadkarni.com Fri, 06 Dec 2019 20:31:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 89125426 Nalini Nadkarni on The Cosmic Rey https://nalininadkarni.com/comic-strip/ https://nalininadkarni.com/comic-strip/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2019 18:26:45 +0000 https://nalininadkarni.com/?p=2686 The post Nalini Nadkarni on The Cosmic Rey appeared first on Nalini Nadkarni.

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Artist Reyhaneh Maktoufi recently featured Nalini on her blog, The Cosmic Rey. See below for the illustrations and a link to the blog.

The Cosmic Rey

Exploring the Science of Stuff and the Stuff of Science

Reyhaneh Maktoufi July 13, 2019

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Nalini Brings Barbie to the Forest Canopy https://nalininadkarni.com/nalini-brings-barbie-to-the-forest-canopy/ https://nalininadkarni.com/nalini-brings-barbie-to-the-forest-canopy/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:23:37 +0000 https://nalininadkarni.com/?p=2481 The post Nalini Brings Barbie to the Forest Canopy appeared first on Nalini Nadkarni.

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Barbies are a universal cultural icon. Their manufacturer, Mattel, expanded the appearance of their dolls beyond their original look in 1959 to the wide array of ethnicities, careers, and stylings available today. One thing Barbie wasn’t, back in the early 2000’s, was a canopy scientist. Nalini Nadkarni recognized the importance of Barbie in the lives of young children and the influence the doll has over shaping children’s perceptions of career possibilities. This inspired her to create TreeTop Barbie, a tiny public engagement of science project. She and her students bought secondhand Barbies and outfitted them with canopy climbing gear and an educational booklet to offer forest ecology as a model for a possible career choice.

In 2019, National Geographic and Mattel sought out Nalini to serve as a consultant on a new partnership. They were developing a line of Barbies that focused on making science interesting and accessible to the children who play with them. With input from National Geographic, Mattel created dolls, outfits, and accessories to highlight women who are astrophysicists, nature photographers, entomologists, and wildlife biologists.

TreeTop Barbie

TreeTop Barbie

National Public Radio recently highlighted this relationship, as well as Nalini’s broader efforts to get girls into canopy science. Maddie About Science, a series led by NPR Science Desk Host Maddie Sofia, accompanied Nalini into the canopy and filmed from the trees. In the video and subsequent broadcasts on All Things Considered and Short Wave, Nalini highlighted the experience of climbing through the canopy to see the world above the forest floor. She also discussed the long route the Barbie idea took, ultimately marketed with an international reach.

Nalini is grateful for the opportunity to work with National Geographic and Mattel on such an important project. She is equally grateful to Maddie Sofia and NPR for their coverage of the project, and the importance of getting girls into canopy science.

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How to Go to Prison https://nalininadkarni.com/how-to-go-to-prison/ https://nalininadkarni.com/how-to-go-to-prison/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 22:21:40 +0000 https://nalininadkarni.com/?p=2359 The post How to Go to Prison appeared first on Nalini Nadkarni.

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People who are incarcerated are a scientifically-underserved group of people who are not able to gain access the internet, let alone science museums and lectures. They  stand to benefit tremendously from education and are often overlooked as an eager learning community. The INSPIRE program (Initiative to Bring Science Programs to the Incarcerated in Utah) seeks to tap into that opportunity and enthusiasm by bringing academic scientists inside correctional institutions to provide science lectures and conservation programs.

Developing the INSPIRE program has required creativity and persistence. The program relies on the willingness of prison and jail staff to try new strategies for programming, the time and enthusiasm of individual scientists to build engaging lectures and materials, and the hard work of a lean program staff.

INSPIRE lecture

Recognizing the potential and necessity for similar programs in other universities and other corrections facilities, INSPIRE Director Nalini Nadkarni offers “How to Go to Prison,” a concise digital document that outlines how to set up and maintain operations of the innovative project.

Navigating carceral systems can be daunting to individuals looking to launch programming, and the guide aims to demystify this process. This “How-To” guide explores some of the most challenging aspects of operating a program like INSPIRE- how to establish and maintain contact with institutions, how to evaluate programs, and how to generate project sustainability. By making the document free and publicly accessible, INSPIRE hopes to encourage other science engagement programs to expand their reach to a novel audience. Incarcerated people across the country stand to benefit from deeper science knowledge and a potential identity shift, from being unconnected to science to actively engaged with science learning.

We are interested in input from people outside INSPIRE about this guide. If you have ideas about changes to this guide, or reflections on ways it has informed a new project or activity, we welcome your comments.

This document was written by Joshua Horns, Nalini Nadkarni, Allison Anholt, Megan Young, and Jeremy Morris, School of Biological Sciences, University of Utah

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STEMAP Published in Bioscience https://nalininadkarni.com/1933-2/ https://nalininadkarni.com/1933-2/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 21:37:37 +0000 https://nalini-nadkarni.c3bn568a-liquidwebsites.com/?p=1933 Beyond the Deficit Model: The Ambassador Approach to Public Engagement NALINI M. NADKARNI, CAITLIN Q. WEBER, SHELLEY V. GOLDMAN, DENNIS L. SCHATZ, SUE ALLEN, AND REBECCA MENLOVE Scientists are increasingly...

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Beyond the Deficit Model: The Ambassador Approach to Public Engagement

NALINI M. NADKARNI, CAITLIN Q. WEBER, SHELLEY V. GOLDMAN, DENNIS L. SCHATZ, SUE ALLEN, AND REBECCA MENLOVE

Scientists are increasingly motivated to engage the public, particularly those who do not or cannot access traditional science education opportunities. Communication researchers have identified shortcomings of the deficit model approach, which assumes that skepticism toward science is based on a lack of information or scientific literacy, and encourage scientists to facilitate open-minded exchange with the public. We describe an ambassador approach, to develop a scientist’s impact identity, which integrates his or her research, personal interests and experiences to achieve societal impacts. The scientist identifies a community or focal group to engage, on the basis of his or her impact identity, learns about that group, and promotes inclusion of all group members by engaging in venues in which that group naturally gathers, rather than in traditional education settings. Focal group members stated that scientists communicated effectively and were responsive to participant questions and ideas. Scientists reported professional and personal benefits from this approach.

Read our new paper here: Bioscience_STEMAP_2019

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STEM Ambassador Program Awarded Further Funding from National Science Foundation https://nalininadkarni.com/event-1-copy-2/ https://nalininadkarni.com/event-1-copy-2/#respond Mon, 01 Apr 2019 15:22:34 +0000 https://nalini-nadkarni.c3bn568a-liquidwebsites.com/event-1-copy-2/ The STEM Ambassador Program has received a new round of funding from NSF, extending the program until at least 2021. The scientific enterprise needs transformative ways for scientists to interact...

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STEM Ambassador ProgramThe STEM Ambassador Program has received a new round of funding from NSF, extending the program until at least 2021.

The scientific enterprise needs transformative ways for scientists to interact synergistically with society, particularly with people who do not or cannot engage with science in informal education (ISE) venues (e.g., museums, science centers) due to variations in mobility, educational background, language, health, financial status, and other factors. Although these audiences are considered “hard-to-reach,” they can contribute to science and to a more informed citizenry.

In 2016-2018, with AISL support, the project carried out exploratory research to innovate the STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP), which integrated three proven ISE approaches to train cohorts of scientists to meaningfully engage public audiences in venues where they naturally congregate (e.g., correctional institutions, cooking classes, senior centers). Other institutions have expressed strong interest in replicating STEMAP, but additional research is needed to make STEMAP (and other ISE programs) scalable and sustainable.

Project outcomes will include 70 trained scientists, five Mentors, two Site Leaders, two Site Facilitators, at least 70 engagement events, an Evaluation Toolkit, a “Broadening Participation in STEMAP” guide, documentation of engagement outcomes, a web-based repository of training materials and engagement resources, and a Dissemination Framework to inform actions to scale and sustain STEMAP and other engagement training programs.

This project, entitled “The STEM Ambassador Program: Supporting Scientists’ Engagement with Public Audiences,” is under the direction of Nalini Nadkarni, John C. Besley, Krista Carlson, Julie M. Risien, Dennis L. Schatz.

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INSPIRE Paper Published in Science Communication https://nalininadkarni.com/inspire-in-science-communication/ https://nalininadkarni.com/inspire-in-science-communication/#respond Mon, 01 Apr 2019 15:22:32 +0000 https://nalini-nadkarni.c3bn568a-liquidwebsites.com/event-1-copy/ The post INSPIRE Paper Published in Science Communication appeared first on Nalini Nadkarni.

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Baseline Attitudes and Impacts of Informal Science Education Lectures on Content Knowledge and Value of Science Among Incarcerated Populations

Nalini M. Nadkarni and Jeremy S. Morris

Many public audiences lack access to traditional science education. We examined baseline perceptions and the impacts of science lectures on incarcerated adults in two correctional institutions. Although incarcerated populations are often characterized as having poor educational backgrounds, being disinterested in learning, and having few tools to seek science education, our incarcerated audiences were interested in, capable of, and desirous of science education. We found positive baseline attitudes about science and a significant positive effect of science lectures on content knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions related to science, suggesting that informal science lectures may be an appropriate portal to science education for this population.

Read the rest of the paper here: Baseline Attitudes INSPIRE

INSPIRE lecture

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