Many of my neighbors really enjoy hearing about the science we're doing in the lab, and I really enjoy talking about it with them. This actually led to a very fun event we did during Winter Break where I brought in some neighbors to our Junior Physics lab course so they could get hands-on experience with some very cool physics. You can check out our OpenWetWare page (unfinished) for the event (sorry the facebook page seems to be private). A brief summary is that I only had to invest a few hours of time, and I think the attendees really enjoyed it. I know I did.
Recently I had an idea for science outreach that I'd like your opinion on. The idea is that I (or a student) will explain our research to one of our biggest neighbor fans. Then, we'll record an interview with him describing our science, what we do, it's importance, etc., from his point of view. Or we could do it with a couple neighbors talking. But the main point is that the non-scientists will be explaining the science to the (mostly) non-scientist audience on youtube.
There are a few reasons I think this may be useful and fun. First, I always find it informative and fun to hear people "re-describe" our research to someone else after I've described it (unless it's printed in a magazine). Second, I have an inkling that it would be effective for communicating to non-scientists. Third, the people I have in mind for this project are very good at picking out the essence of what I'm telling them, and distilling it down to the exciting parts in layman's terms.
So, do you think this is a good idea? Maybe it's been tried before many times, and if so, please send me the links. If we do give this a whirl, there is one thing I'd like to figure out how to do:
- Record video with two cameras (for example, one on me, one on him)
- Splice and edit the video to make a good video for posting to youtube