STEM Education Outreach and Science Communications

Position: STEM Education Outreach and Science Communications

Organization: Desert Research Institute

 

Mission

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge, supported Nevada’s diversifying economy, provided science-based educational opportunities, and informed policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in both Reno and Las Vegas, DRI is one of eight institutions in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Position Description

The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Education Outreach and Science Communications AmeriCorps member will be based in Las Vegas, learn about and gain experience in expanding STEM awareness and science communications to students and to the community through the DRI’s Science Alive program and the Office of External Affairs and Communications.

 

The successful candidate will work with the Science Alive team to develop and implement projects that increase public awareness of DRI’s STEM activities and programs within the surrounding community; while also supporting the Office of External Affairs and Communications with public engagement at community events and creating compelling science communication content that shares the impact of DRI’s research projects with the public.

 

Frequent travel and community engagement will be required for projects including citizen science, energy smart education, family nights, educator training and community outreach events. The AmeriCorps member’s creativity and knowledge of STEM topics and science will be needed to customize curriculum to encompass applied science, 21st century technology, and environmental science and STEM topic areas. A background in education and/or communications or journalism can help the Americorps Member offer valuable insight but is not required.

 

Service Location: Las Vegas, NV

 

Timeline for Service: September 2019 - August 2020

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Maintain a calendar of outreach activities, including community events, workshops, appearances and other communication opportunities

  • Identify and compile hands-on STEM activities for an informal setting

  • Coordinate EnergySmart classroom outreach

  • Visit informal partners to provide training on Curriculum kits, Green Boxes, STEM kits and Mars Maps

  • Assist writing grant proposals for program funding

  • Develop public education and science communication materials, including presentations and displays, content for newsletters and social media posts, and website content.

  • Expand reach and enrollment in curriculum program

  • Staff community outreach and school events

  • Act as a public speaker at public events

Secondary Responsibilities

  • Identify and build relationships across the Institute with research faculty and staff

  • Promote and maintain positive professional relationships with community partners

  • Perform administrative duties including inventory maintenance and photo and video archive work

  • Assist in the creation of social media materials such as graphics, photos, and videos

  • Track and report on metrics

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Passion for education, art, photography or video, or communications and journalism

  • Experience with or passion for STEM topics

  • Strong written and oral communication skills

  • A keen eye for detail

  • Ability to manage and maintain multiple projects and tasks requiring tight deadlines

  • Motivation, a strong work ethic, and team oriented

  • Dedication to seeing tasks to completion, and efficiency in completing tasks

  • Creativity and a love for learning

  • A professional attitude

Required Academic and Experience Qualifications

  • A degree or equivalent experience in education, communication, journalism, graphic design or related degree

  • Experience communicating to a variety of audiences

  • Experience managing logistics of special events and public outreach activities

  • Experience in community or curriculum engagement and design

  • Ability to serve as in-classroom presenter

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, Google Suite and basic office software

  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite

  • Familiarity with Wordpress Website Content Management System

Host Site Agency Mission

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) excels in basic and applied research and the application of technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world. We implement this mission by fostering scientific and engineering talent. We apply scientific understanding to the effective management of natural resources while meeting Nevada’s needs for economic diversification and science-based educational opportunities. Science Alive serves schools in every county across the state of Nevada by providing teachers with free professional development or access to our STEM k-12 resources. Since inception, we have worked with over 500 schools, and 100,000 students. Currently, 75% of the schools we serve are Title One schools, which are schools that receive federal assistance to close the achievement gap between low-income students and other students. Over 50% of the students we reach are on a federal assisted free and reduced lunch program because of their low-income status, and almost 20% are second language English learners.

Program Mission

The mission of DRI’s Science Alive Program is to support PreK-12 educators in science-based, environmental education by providing the tools, resources, and knowledge they need, so all students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work, live and contribute in our community. Science Alive achieves our mission by providing inquiry-based STEM curriculum through our Green Boxes, STEM kits, offering Teacher Trainings and Workshops throughout the school year, and through School Support in the form of speakers, field trips, and special opportunities.

 

The Office of External Affairs and Communications connects DRI’s diverse range of storytelling experts under a single mission: to work together to enhance DRI’s reputation as a globally respected research institution, creating passionate and loyal advocates for DRI.

Additional Guidelines or Expectations

​AmeriCorps members are required to wear at least one piece of AmeriCorps gear (AmeriCorps button), provided by the Parks Foundation, every day during their term of service. AmeriCorps members must participate in at least one National Day of Service during their term of service and may participate in additional service projects.

Member Benefits

AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance of $13,992, a $6,095 education award upon successful completion of service, healthcare, childcare coverage (for eligible members), and professional development opportunities throughout their term of service. If the member qualifies, they will also receive student loan forbearance and interest payments.

Evaluation and Reporting

Members will receive a mid-year and end-of-term performance evaluation from their site-supervisor and the AmeriCorps Program Director. Members will submit their biweekly Member Service Logs (timesheets) to their supervisor to be approved. Members are also responsible for reporting performance measures to their site supervisor and AmeriCorps Program Director every month during their term of service.

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to Leah Madison at leah.madison@dri.edu.

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