Elon University runs two courses that incorporate science outreach components in the form of a mobile science center. One course visits with an elementary school next to campus and the other is a travel course to middle schools in Kerala, India. In both cases interactive science demonstrations are built on campus, set up museum-style in gymnasia, and monitored by university students who interact with the children. Elon students predominantly from non-science disciplines take part in the two courses. We discuss as science pedagogy the mobile science center, which relies on the service-learning model of engaging students in socially meaningful contexts. We also discuss the usefulness to the schools of having university students interact with schoolchildren in the context of science. Our experience suggests that promoting science engagement can be expanded beyond the domain of professional scientists and educators. The cause of science education can bring together individuals of diverse interests and serve to bridge cultural divides.
|Keywords:||Outreach, Science Literacy, Service-learning, Pedagogy, Museum, Demonstrations, Schools, Exhibition|
Associate Professor, Physics Department, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA