Education and Public Engagement Group

Finding the Broader Impacts of Science at Rutgers University

We help researchers communicate their research beyond their colleagues and academic peers to broader communities.

Our work focuses on sharing the story of how science is done

We strive to

  • Highlight science skills and practices
  • Facilitate the exploration of scientific data, and
  • Help make meaning from scientific information.

We facilitate partnerships for Rutgers STEM faculty to share their science broadly.

Mission:

…. To facilitate the development of social, cultural, and educational impact from the research investments of Rutgers researchers. We are focused on building Rutgers researcher’s capacity to engage in meaningful broader impact activities.

Background:

In 1994, our founding Director, Dr. Frederick Grassle and Associate Director Michael De Luca at the Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences (IMCS) established an education and outreach program to connect ocean scientists with New Jersey educators. Since then, the IMCS education team has worked with Rutgers University scientists, local school districts, community groups, and other educational and non-profit partners to promote science literacy through quality science education programs. By combining cutting edge research with effective education practices, we inspire students, educators, and the science-interested public in exploration, discovery, and stewardship.

Over the past twenty years, our team has designed and implemented a variety of quality training experiences for scientists and educators. In these programs both through the Department of Marine Science and through our association with the Department of 4-H Youth Development- Cooperative Extension, we have provided support and training for scientists on how to effectively communicate and teach their science to a variety of audiences. We have also engaged educators in compelling professional development programs that provide them with new content knowledge in the context of real-world scientific practices. As a result, over 6,000 elementary, middle, and high school students have been exposed to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research through our on-campus programs and “scientist in the classroom” programs. Countless more have benefited from the innovative, hands-on laboratory activities and other educational resources we have developed over the years.

Thanks to support from both federal, foundation, and industry sources, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), AT&T, and the Geraldine R Dodge Foundation, our team has collaborated with hundreds of K-16 teachers, informal educators, community leaders, and Rutgers researchers to create and deliver innovative science education programs. Our programs focus on developing creative activities that integrate science concepts and the STEM resources at Rutgers University. We focus on bringing real world examples and data into a variety of educational settings including classrooms and informal learning environments.