Science Communication, Public Engagement & Outreach



Science Communication, Public Engagement with Science, and Outreach are areas of activity that can foster curiosity about, appreciation for or understanding of scientific concepts, processes and applications. Designers of Informal Science Education (ISE) exhibitions, public programs, media and games also have these and other outcomes in mind as they develop experiences and settings. ISE learning goals might also include self-efficacy or identification as a person who uses science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in their everyday lives. This page provides resources and links to bridge knowledge that has been growing as the result of experimentation, evaluation, research and reflective practice in these realms, which often go by different names but whose purposes and strategies overlap.

With new funding from the National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program in 2016, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is expanding the community it serves to include scientists, as well as communication and engagement professionals whose job it is engage a diversity of audiences through education, outreach or broader impacts of research activities.

CAISE curates the database with resources to support project development, evaluation and measurement, and research in informal STEM education (ISE) environments. By collecting and tagging papers, reports, articles and links drawn from the learning sciences, the science of science communication and other relevant research and practice CAISE will continue to add to this robust repository of knowledge in ways that will serve the wider, related fields.

Knowledge About Informal STEM Education (ISE)

Knowledge About Science Communication

Professional Informal STEM Education Networks with Experience and Expertise in Supporting Communication, Engagement and Outreach

Science Communication Training Programs

Broader Impacts

Every U.S.  National Science Foundation grant proposal is reviewed based on two criteria--intellectual merit, and broader impacts.  Broader impacts refers to the potential of research to not only advance knowledge, but to benefit society. This can come through broadening participation in STEM, tackling societal challenges, and advancing the public understanding of science.  Scientists can strengthen the broader impacts of their proposals by collaborating with informal STEM education professionals, who bring their own expertise in communicating with diverse publics through rigorously evaluated experiences and settings.

Broader Impacts Organizations and Resources

If you are seeking tested, evidence-based informal STEM education activities, visit the How to Smile website, which contains thousands of examples developed by science centers and museums in a variety of disciplines. If you are seeking STEM learning opportunities for your family, or if you are a credible provider of such experiences wishing to showcase your program, find collaborators or recruit volunteers, visit the Connectory website-