The MSU Science Festival will handle all logistics for the LSJ Expo Zone including space reservation, table or tent set up (as needed), taking care of electrical needs, and hanging any necessary signage.
If you are hosting your own event such as a SWAN, NATM, or Tour/Open House event, we ask that you take care of posting signage. The Science Festival may provide posters, welcome signs, photo-notification signs, and festival yard signs if available. Digital files for these signs are posted in the Resources section of the website for download. If you would like signage sent to you, please contact us at email@example.com.
For All Presenters
Science Festival Audience:
- The age and background of your audience members could range widely.
- Most of your audience will be non-scientists, so basic ideas will be your foundation, with layers of complexity added to offer something for everyone.
- The audience is curious -- just like you were when you embarked on your journey. Have fun sharing your common interest!
- Share what inspires you! -- what are you passionate about?
Experience the essence of a science festival by visiting these videos from:
- The Philadelphia Science Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2j-fM46ToA
- The University of Cambridge (UK) Science Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-8TPWxQ1dU
Know your goals:
- Think FUN! Present a topic you and your visitors will have fun sharing, discovering and exploring together!
- Share a science idea, research, advancement, or application: identify a clear take-home message
- Make science accessible and understandable: leave the jargon behind
- Connect your take-away message to something people can relate to in everyday life and care about
- Spark the imagination and inspire!
- Your presentation should be special and fun! Not sure how to do this? We can help, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be energetic and welcoming.
- Initiate conversation! If you are an Expo presenter, the ability to invite and initiate conversation with passerbys is essential.
- Ask your audience questions (e.g. Are they familiar with the subject?). Find common ground and go from there!
- Connect the topic with relatable, real life examples, and how it relates to your work or field of study.
- Ask if they have questions.
- Speak as though you are conversing with a friend, who isn't a scientist.
- If you offer a powerpoint, opt for pictures instead of graphs or text.
- Practice with a friend who isn't familiar with your work and ask for their feedback.
- Inclusion of an activity is great for all presentations, and essential for Expo events.
- Promotional materials are welcome, but should be discrete.
- Take away items are popular- even website recommendations on how they can learn more are great!
For Expo Booths
- Be sure to visit this very helpful video: Philly Expo video
- Inviting and initiating conversation is essential! Tips: start with a "Hello!" or a question (e.g. "Have you ever tried... seen... wondered....?")
- Expo booths need energetic, welcoming, and knowledgeable presenters sharing their science. Welcome your visitors, make eye contact, and share what you have to offer. Many people don't know what questions to ask, so initiate and engage. We recommend 2-5 attendants; someone must be present at all times, so shifts are helpful.
- An interactive/hands-on component is essential. Information is received, understanding improved, and dialogue increased with hands-on activities.
- Present your topic so it is easily accessible, relatable, and without jargon or words easily misinterpreted (e.g. "green").
- You have <5minutes to convey your ideas. Keep things as simple as possible with just a couple of points.
- Have enough materials for all visitors.
- Have content appropriate for all ages; something for everyone.
- If you can, have something that a visitor can take home -- (even a list of websites to visit)
- Would you like more tips? Contact us!
Ways to Engage Visitors at a Busy Expo Booth:
- Greet passerbys, ask them questions, invite them to interact with the activity you are featuring.
- Multiple components will draw people to your booth if you are busy with someone already.
- Visual images -- such as a continuous powerpoint with as large a screen as you can manage, posters with graphics, etc.
- Text -- large, clear, and engaging text about the main points of your booth.
- Hands-on elements will help visitors relate to and interact with your scientific concepts.
- Connect the take-away message to something relatable to everyday life.
- Your 60 minute presentation should include a minimum of:
- 5 minutes sharing your story – how you became interested in your field of study--not where you work now, but how you started your journey. Did you have an interest when you were young? Did someone in your past inspire you? Did you have to overcome any difficulties?
- 5 minutes sharing career opportunities in your field. Do you collaborate with any other scientists or other universities?
- 40 minutes sharing your science – your program is meant to get the students excited about your field, about the unanswered questions and problems in your field, and to help students see how the STEM concepts they are learning in school are applied to the real world.
- 10 minutes for Questions and Answers
- Be as interactive as possible, whether it is a hands-on activity or simply asking questions during your presentation. Your presentation should be more of a conversation than a lecture.
- If using a Powerpoint, show pictures and limit the use of graphs or text.
- Show interesting pictures of your workplace, bring tools of the trade to show, and share real examples of research. Do you have a website?
- Keep the vocabulary you use and concepts you discuss within the students’ understanding. Words have multiple meanings; define key terms. When in doubt, ask the teacher for help!
- Use real world, relatable examples.
- Highlight key concepts. What do you want the students to take away from your presentation?