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Science Communication Toolkit

What is Science Communication?

For our SEPA project, the primary focus is public outreach. The Science Communication Workbook provided below offers a comprehensive set of tools designed to help students develop the skills necessary to engage confidently with their communities. 

We aim to empower students to become effective advocates for change, specifically in promoting public health improvements related to drinking water quality. By equipping students with these essential communication and advocacy skills, we aim to foster a more informed and proactive community, ultimately leading to healthier and safer drinking water for all.

Communicating Findings – Outreach Workbook

Goal: This outreach workbook will direct teachers and their students in the process of communicating what they have discovered to the audience of their choice.

Step 1: Collect drinking water samples

necessary to understand the issue on a local scale

Follow the steps on our Project Management page to collect and submit drinking water samples for analysis.

Step 2: Analyze the data to understand what is going on

necessary to tell a data-supported story–

Use this TUVA activity to help you get started. Our custom Tuva platform allows you to explore our SEPA drinking water datasets.

Step 3: Choosing an Audience

Complete the lesson on Audience. Then, select a specific audience to share a relevant message about the drinking water project’s results (completed in step 2).

Consider these questions:

  • Based on your analysis of water quality data, which group of people do you believe will benefit most from receiving your message?
  • Considering current circumstances and potential impact, where do you see opportunities to effectively disseminate your data? For example, are there upcoming community gatherings, legislative sessions, or other relevant events where sharing your findings could be particularly impactful? If so, this can help inform who you decide your audience should be.

Now, choose your audience. Who do you want to reach with your message? Consider the following:

  • Legislators
  • Municipal Leaders
  • Neighbors / Community Members
  • Peers
  • Schools

Step 4: Framing your Message

Complete the lesson on Framing a Message. Then decide – What do you want to accomplish by sharing your data-supported story? Consider the following:

  • Encourage water filtration
  • Increase water testing
  • Raise awareness about environmental health
  • Start a legislative action

Step 5: Choosing a Medium

Investigate the flowchart on this page (Audience -> Frame -> Message). Choosing a medium for your outreach depends on your audience and frame. For example, it would not make sense to go to your student peers expecting them to start a legislative action. Choose a relevant and effective medium for your specific audience and frame.

How will you reach your audience? Consider using one or more of the following:

  • Brochures
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Op-ed
  • Poster
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA)
  • Storytelling
  • Tri-fold display
  • Video

Step 6: Create your Outreach Plan

Now, begin creating an outreach plan. Include the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is your core message? In other words, what is the key takeaway you want your audience to remember after engaging with your outreach effort?
  • How will you tailor your message to resonate with your audience’s interests and concerns?
  • What medium(s) will you use and why (why is your chosen medium the best way to deliver your message to your specific audience)?
  • What data will you present to your audience that supports your message?
  • In what format will you present the data?
  • How will you make the data understandable and relevant to your audience? Will you use visuals, analogies, or real-life examples?
  • How will you verify the accuracy and reliability of the data you present to the audience?
  • Are there any potential biases or limitations in the data you should acknowledge to your audience?
  • How will you encourage active participation and dialogue with your audience?