The U-M Museum of Natural History uses the NSF-supported Portal to the Public guiding framework to bring scientists and public audiences together in face-to-face interactions that promote appreciation and understanding of current scientific research in the Science Communication Fellows program.

To become a Fellow, scientists participate in two free professional development workshops focused on building the skills to effectively engage public audiences.  With guidance from museum program staff, Fellows develop meaningful, inquiry-based and materials-rich table-top activities that showcase their research then share these activities with K-12 students and the public at two or more outreach events.

  • Workshop One: How People Learn – Thursday, January 23, 2020, 5-8PM
  • Brainstorming Session (optional) – Friday, January 31, 2020, 11AM-1PM
  • Workshop Two: Prototyping Your Activity – Choose Monday, February 10, 2020, 2-5PM or Thursday, February 20, 2020, 5-8PM

Fellows facilitate their activities for the general public during two of the following Scientist Spotlight events:

  • Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 2-4 PM at the Yspilanti District Library, Whittaker Branch
  • Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 1-4PM as part of the Young Scientists Expo at Forsythe Middle School, Ann Arbor
  • Sunday, March 22, 2020 (shift times from 10AM-1PM or 1-4PM) at the museum as part of the Women in Science event
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 1-4PM at the museum
  • Saturday, May 9, 2020 (shift times from 9AM-12PM, 12PM-3PM, or 3PM-6PM) as part of the Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad at Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor
  • Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 1-3PM at the Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch

Fellow Benefits:

  • Museum Science Communication Fellow certificate for reference in a C.V., commending commitment to science communication and public engagement.
  • Opportunities to network with other scientists and researchers committed to public engagement as well as with education professionals.
  • Complimentary Museum membership.  As a Museum member, you’re entitled to:  Free admission to more than 300 museums and science centers around the world, free Planetarium passes, a 20% discount in the Museum Store, invitations to members-only events and exhibition openings, and more!

We are no longer accepting applications for the winter/spring 2020 program, check back in summer 2020 for the fall application period.   Please contact Alicia Comer, lisha@umich.edu with questions.