Science Communication Workshops

The Portal to the Public (PoP) approach is a NSF-funded, tested strategy that helps connect public audiences with local scientists and professionals through informal learning organizations. If you are a scientist, or science professional looking to share your research with a broad audience and engage the community in current research from South Dakota, join us and become a SD Discovery Center Science Communication Fellow!

Our next Crash Course is scheduled for March 20, 2019 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at SDSU in Brookings, sponsored by SD EPSCoR and the SDSU Graduate School. To register click here.

The application period for our spring Fellowship is closed. We will be offering another Science Communication Fellowship in the fall. If you have any questions, please contact Rhea.

Who are the Fellows?

Science Communication Fellows are scientists, engineers, researchers, graduate students, and other science professionals who have successfully completed a Science Communication Workshop and have been certified through Portal to the Public as current science ambassadors and excellent science communicators.

How can you become a Science Communication Fellow?
  • Participate in the Science Communication Workshop (two full days)
  • Develop a fun hands-on activity focused on your research
  • Present your activity at our Portal to the Public Showcase and at 2 other public events within one year

Tuition for the Science Communication Fellowship is $1,000 per participant (thanks to our sponsor  NSF SD EPSCoR, tuition can be waived for a limited number of participants).

What are the benefits of becoming a Fellow?

Professional Development:

  • Learn how to effectively communicate your work to diverse audiences
  • Enhance your science communication skills

Free Outreach Programs for the Public:

  • Present your hands-on activity to a general audience through various programs at the SD Discovery Center
  • Take your activity to schools, conferences, and other educational or professional events
  • Demonstrate the broader impacts of your work through multi-generational STEM education and outreach
  • Receive a certification suitable for sharing with supervisors and for grant reports and applications.

Build your Network:

  • Build and strengthen long-term relationships with regional STEM institutions, schools and teachers
  • Draw upon a network of participating Informal Science Institutions, schools, universities, and funding agencies for future collaboration and funding opportunities.

For more information visit Portal to the Public.

Portal to the public science communication "crash course"

If you don’t have the time to commit to a full Fellowship, but still want to improve your science communication skills: participate in one of “Crash Course” workshops.  These workshops are about 2-3 hours and are offered in different parts of the state at different times throughout the year.

If you have questions or would like to get notified when and where the next “Crash Course” is offered, please contact Rhea.

Our next Crash Course is scheduled for March 20, 2019 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at SDSU in Brookings, sponsored by SD EPSCoR and the SDSU Graduate School. To register click here.

Meet our fellows!

Cohort Fall 2018
SD EPSCoR Fellows
  • Paul Gaillard,  Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: From Fishing to Farming - How Soybeans Can Save Lakes| Contact Paul
  • Timothy Hansen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: How do we Make Electricity and How Much Does it Cost? | Contact Tim
  • Zhongkui Hong, Biomedical Engineering at USD
    ACTIVITY: How do Cell Mechanics Affect Cardiovascular Disease? | Contact Zhongkui
  • Amos Kwabena Dwamena, Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: Solving Pollution| Contact Amos
  • Bremansu Osa-Andrews, Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: New Drugs Provide Hope for Cancer Patients| Contact Bremansu
  • Alex Rickel, Biomedical Engineering at USD
    ACTIVITY: How strong are your cells?| Contact Alex

NASA@MyLibrary Fellows

  • Drew Alton, Physics at Augustana University
    ACTIVITY: The Gravitational Lensing Game| Contact Drew
  • Lindsay Erickson, Mathematics at Augustana University
    ACTIVITY: Dots and Lines on the Moon | Contact Lindsay
  • Anahita Haghizadeh, Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: A Trip to the Moon | Contact Anahita
  • Bhuvan Vemuri, Civil and Environmental Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: Waste to Energy | Contact Bhuvan

Cohort Fall 2018 from left to right: Bremansu Osa-Andrews, Bhuvan Vemuri, Lindsay Erickson,
Amos Dwamena, Timothy Hansen, Alex Rickel, Drew Alton, Paul Gaillard, and Anahita Haghizadeh

Cohort Spring 2018
  • Srinivas Janaswamy, Dairy and Food Science at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: Biobeads | Contact Srinivas
  • Nathan Jones, Soil Science Division at USDA-NRCS
    ACTIVITY: Soil is Alive!! | Contact Nathan
  • Matti Kuykendall, Soil Science Division at USDA-NRCS
    ACTIVITY: Soils Have Layers | Contact Matti
  • Jevin Meyerink, Biomedical Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: Rebuilding Bones | Contact Jevin
  • Anamika Prasad, Mechanical Engineering at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: Know Your Materials | Contact Anamika
  • Jim Stone, Civil and Environmental Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: What is you water footprint? | Contact Jim
  • Scott Wood, Nano Science and Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: Let's Play Cell! | Contact Scott
  • Cohort Spring 2018 from left to right: Graduate students Mohamed Elfaruk and Aliza Sigdel (accepting
    the fellowship award for Srinivas Janaswamy), Graduate student Mukesh Roy, Anamika Prasad,
    graduate student Josh Feiner, Scott Wood, Rhea Waldman, Jevin Meyerink

Cohort Fall 2017
  • Scyller Borglum, Geology & Geological Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITY: Petroleum Engineering | Contact Scyller
  • Shaydel Davies, Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD
    ACTIVITY: Longterm Effects of Teenage Bullying | Contact Shaydie
  • Jose Gonzalez Hernandez, Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science at SDSU
    ACTIVITY:  Genomic Sequencing| Contact Jose
  • Brooke Long, Geology & Geological Engineering at SDSMT
    ACTIVITYSea Shells of the Past and Present: Environmental Change Through Time | Contact Brooke
  • Riley Paulsen, Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD
    ACTIVITY: Fire! Record and Control Live Cockroach Neurons | Contact Riley
  • Eric Sandhurst, Biomedical Engineering at USD
    ACTIVITY: Bone and Cartilage Repair | Contact Eric
  • Padmapriya Swaminathan, Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science at SDSU
    ACTIVITY: Grape Ripening and Optimal Harvest | Contact Priya

Cohort Fall 2017 from left to right: Eric Sandhurst, Brooke Long, Scyller Borglum, Rhea Waldman, Riley Paulsen, Shaydel Davis, Jose Gonzalez Hernandez

  • Raeann Mettler, Natural Science at Black Hills State University
    ACTIVITY: Primate Evolution | Contact Raeann
  • Cecelia Miles, Biology at Augustana University
    ACTIVITY: Sleepless Fruit Flies | Contact Cecelia
  • Karla Otterpohl, Children’s Health at Sanford Research
    ACTIVITY: All about the Kidney | Contact Karla
  • Hongli Sun, Biomedical Engineering at USD
    ACTIVITY: Bone Regeneration | Contact Hongli
Cohort Summer 2017 from left to right: Eric Sandhurst (accepting the fellowship award for Hongli Sun), Raeann Mettler, Karla Otterpohl, Cecelia Miles


Upcoming events

Thank you to the 
Friends of the South Dakota Discovery Center. 
Friends provide on going support so that the
children and families in our community have access to hands-on science learning, now and in the future.

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