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Outreach

Any effort to take research to the public and spread scientific knowledge is strongly encouraged within the NCCR Chemical Biology. We take part in many activities to share our passion and explain our science, highlight interdisciplinary learning and encourage the young and old to enter the fields of science. We believe that communicating science to non-specialists opens a new perspective on the world, challenges you to grow personally and professionally, polishes your soft skills and helps you keep on learning while being a lot of fun.

 

Opportunities for outreach with the NCCR Chemical Biology

 

 

Biochemistry visits at the Chimiscope

  • Type of action: direct interaction with an audience
  • Level of involvement: low
  • Objective: assist the animator for 1 or more visits
  • Target audience(s): school children, from 7 to 19
  • Context: the NCCR runs the biochemistry workshops of the Chimiscope, a discovery and experimentation platform at UNIGE. Classes of children come for 1-hour visits, run simple experiments with the help of animators, and explore biochemistry notions.
  • What would you do? Help the children with the experiments, and answer their questions about science and your job as a researcher.
  • How much time would it take? One hour. Or more if you want to repeat the experience!
  • This is for you if: you speak French, you are comfortable around a younger audience and want to share your passion for science.
  • How and when do I sign up? Contact Nolwenn Chavan. The Chimiscope is open throughout the academic year.

 

One scientist, one class, one hour

  • Type of action: direct interaction with an audience
  • Level of involvement: low
  • Objective: present yourself and your work to a class
  • Target audience(s): primary and secondary school students in Switzerland
  • Context: Hosting a class in your lab is impossible? Not a problem! You can connect with a class via videoconference and help them see what a real scientist looks like!
  • What would you do? In video, show a class what the everyday life of a scientist is: show your lab, the tools you work with, explain briefly your research and most importantly, answer the student’s questions. The NCCR outreach officer will help you prepare.
  • How much time would it take? 2 hours preparation + 1 hour with the class. Repeat as needed! (And if you repeat the experience, you will need less and less preparation time ;)).
  • This is for you if: you think your job is interesting and are comfortable talking to children or teenagers. This activity is open to French, English and German speakers.
  • How and when do I sign up? This program runs all year round (except for school breaks ;)). Contact Nolwenn Chavan anytime.

 

 

Workshops for youngsters – Polythème de biochimie

  • Type of action: direct interaction with an audience
  • Level of involvement: low
  • Objective: assist the facilitator during the workshops
  • Target audience(s): 11 to 13 year olds
  • Context: Each autumn the EPFL Science Outreach Department and the NCCR organize a series of workshops for young people passionate about science.
  • What would you do? communicate your enthusiasm for science and help the facilitator run simple biochemistry experiments with the sixteen 11 to 13-year-olds who attend the workshop at EPFL.
  • How much time would it take? 2-3 hours for 3 Wednesday afternoons in a row.
  • This is for you if: you love science and want to share your interest with youngsters, and you speak French.
  • How and when do I sign up? The position for the 2021 edition is already filled. You will receive an email invitation in the spring to participate in the last edition (June 2022). If you are interested, please note that we also run a Summer camp at EPFL every summer. Contact: Nolwenn Chavan

 

Writing for the NCCR blog

  • Type of action: creation of content, scientific writing, interview of scientists.
  • Level of involvement: low/medium
  • Objective: write quality content for the NCCR blog
  • Target audience(s): chemical biology community
  • How much time would it take? 2-3 hours for each article, tailored to your time availability.
  • This is for you if: you are curious and love to be in touch with other scientists.
  • How can I join the NCCR editorial team? You can contact Phaedra Simitsek.

 

Summer camp – biochemistry for youngsters

  • Type of action: direct interaction with an audience
  • Level of involvement: medium
  • Objective: assist the facilitator for the summer camp in biochemistry
  • Target audience(s): 11 to 13 year old
  • Context: Each summer the EPFL Science Outreach Department and the NCCR organize a chemistry and biochemistry camp for young people passionate about science. For a week, groups of 4-5 youngsters visit labs, carry out experiments with the camp facilitators and then present their findings to an audience, like real scientists.
  • What would you do? communicate your enthusiasm for science and help the facilitator run simple biochemistry experiments with the sixteen 11 to 13-year-olds who attend the workshop at EPFL.
  • How much time would it take? 3 x half a day, in August
  • This is for you if: you love science and want to share your interest with youngsters, and you speak French.
  • How and when do I sign up? You will receive an email invitation to participate, in the spring. If you want to know more, you can contact Nolwenn Chavan.

 

 

Nuit de la science

  • Type of action: direct interaction with an audience
  • Level of involvement: medium
  • Objective: run a part of the NCCR booth at a science festival
  • Target audience(s): school children, from 7 to 19
  • Context: the NCCR runs a booth during the popular science festival La Nuit de la science (Parc de la Perle du lac, Geneva).
  • What would you do? show experiments to the public, answer their questions about science and research
  • How much time would it take? From half-a-day to 2 days (your choice)
  • This is for you if: you are chatty and want to share your passion for science
  • How and when do I sign up? La Nuit de la science is held the first weekend of July, every other year. If the situation allows it, the next edition will be in July 2022. You will get an email invitation in the early spring. If you want to know more before that, contact Nolwenn Chavan.

 

Join the NCCR closing event taskforce

  • Type of action: creation
  • Level of involvement: medium or high (your choice)
  • Objective: imagine and design activities for an open door event
  • Target audience(s): general public
  • Context: the NCCR plans a large-scale public event in 2022. The Sciences II building at UNIGE will be open to the public for a night on May 21st during the Nuit des Musées.  Lab visits, interactive workshops, artistic performances… we want it all!
  • What would you do? From the research in NCCR labs, find exciting ideas to share with the public and translate them into outreach actions. Meet periodically with the taskforce.
  • How much time would it take? A few hours a month, over one year.
  • This is for you if: you are imaginative and like working in a team.
  • How and when do I sign up? Contact Nolwenn Chavan today! (this project is already running)

 

Your idea

If you have an idea that is not listed above, we would be happy to support you in any way we can.
Even if you feel like your idea is not polished enough to present as an outreach project, or if you just found something that you find exciting and worth sharing, we want to hear about it! Contact Nolwenn Chavan.

 

 

Other outreach initiatives you can join

  • Submit an article or join the conversation on TheScienceBreaker, a platform where scientists comment, explain and discuss scientific articles taken from different scientific fields. All in the name of one mission: engaging the public with science and technology through the democratization of scientific literature.
  • Skype a scientist if you aren’t fluent in the local language, sign up and meet students from all around the world! You will be matched with a classroom based on their interest, and get the opportunity to talk about science and answer all their questions.
  • Join The Catalyst collective, a group of scientific researchers and professionals that use entertainment as a means of engagement with the public.
  • Meet the public in an informal setting at the next edition of Pint of science, where you can share science and a drink!
  • If you are from UNIGE: contact the Scienscope of your department to see how you can contribute, or submit a theme for a Café de l’UNIGE (French speakers only).
  • If you are from EPFL: contact the Education and science outreach department to see how you can contribute.

 

Tips and tools for sharing your science

  • Meet an 11-year old and listen to tips on how to connect with a young audience.
    And be sure to check out other great resources from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
  • The Up-goer five text editor an online translator to check if you can write your abstract using only the 1000 most used words of the English language. A bit extreme perhaps to use in your actual abstracts, but a very good exercise! Be sure to read some of these examples.
  • Yes, posters can be informative and beautiful! See examples, tips, or get yours reviewed on Better Posters.
  • Who doesn’t know TED talks? Here is a selection of talks to help you prepare for yours!
  • And don’t forget TED Ed, where you will find great animations to get your students interested and talking, about CRISPR, what triggers a chemical reaction, the complexity of cell membranes, and much more…
  • For your biology teaching: iBiology has a great portal for educators, with videos, question banks, methodology tips. If you don’t already know iBiology, browsing through their website is always a good idea, as they offer a lot of interesting content: research talks, career development resources, and more.