2019 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

Communicating Science to Public Audiences—Science Communication Workshop

Monday, April 22
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
PCC North, 100 Level, Room 128 A

The Princeton Center for Complex Materials presents Communicating Science with Public Audiences at the 2019 MRS Spring Meeting from their Science Communication and Education Network Workshop Series. This session is based on the “Portal to the Public” National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded method, a proven model for scientists to engage in public and face-to-face interactions with interactive group activities, discussions and lectures.

It is designed to increase confidence in scientists while communicating their work and to become part of a community of researchers who share an interest in science outreach and engagement. All participants will receive feedback and time to reflect. There will be three modules practicing different aspects in science communication:

  • Module 1: How People Learn
    Grasping different concepts of learning behaviors and several different strategies to facilitate the learning experience
  • Module 2: Communicating to Nonspecialists
    Identifying and developing concepts and strategies that scientists can use to share their work with public audiences
  • Module 3: Unraveling the Scientific Language
    Using language as a tool and reflecting on the importance of word use to create meaningful learning experiences

This is an excellent program to aid researchers (targeted to Graduate Students and Postdoctorates) in fulfilling their Broader Impacts criterion for government agency grant proposals.


Dan SteinbergDaniel Steinberg, Princeton University

Daniel Steinberg is the Director of Education Outreach at Princeton University’s Princeton Center for Complex Materials, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). He has been at Princeton University for 15 years. Previously, he was a Space Telescope Science Institute operations astronomer for the Hubble Space Telescope. He has a PhD
degree in geophysics from Binghamton University, The State University of New York, and was a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoc at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center. Steinberg has been Chairman of the NSF MRSEC Educators Network and has given science education and outreach presentations for national laboratories, professional science societies and science engagement organizations such as the Materials Research Society (MRS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network.  For the past 20 years, he has helped scientists to communicate and teach their research to nonscientists, given public talks on Astronomy, Climate Change, Materials Science and Nanotechnology. In addition to lectures/science shows, Steinberg has produced dozens of other large-scale science events for public schools, libraries, underrepresented minority community organizations and clubs.


Sara RodriguezSara Rodriguez, Princeton University

Sara Rodriguez Martinez is the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Princeton Center for Complex Materials. She has been working at Princeton University for the past three years, managing over 15 programs that run yearly in science education and communication. Among these are the following: Science Days and Shows such as Dia de la Ciencia, a bilingual science day with over 40 volunteer Princeton University members showcasing their science, an English- and Spanish-speaking scientist at every table and over 500 audience members; Summer Academies for middle- and high-school students and Research Experiences for Undergraduates, where undergraduates from all levels and around the country work in our laboratories pursuing research in materials science all Summer; and Science Communication workshops, as well as Mentorship training for graduate students, postdocs and faculty. She is extremely interested in helping scientists portray their science, so they may share it with nonspecialists and develop their own scientific demos. Among her passions are tinkering and creating spaces to do so in educational environments, as well as science semiology and talking about the scientific language.


Portal to the Public