GSA Connects 2023 Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Paper No. 257-11
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


BOLGER, Lexi1, TORRES Jr., Luis2, LOIZZO, Jamie1 and HUNDEMER, Sadie1, (1)Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, (2)Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Podcasting provides great potential not only for science communication but also as an educational tool. Paleo Podcasts focused on the design, implementation, and assessment of a paleontology lesson for a Florida 4-H summer camp with the goal of increasing content knowledge, science literacy, and STEM career interest.

University science communicators in the University of Florida’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication and a paleontologist from the Florida Museum of Natural History designed and led the 4-H summer camp of youth (ages 10-15) through stations of dinosaur, vertebrate, and invertebrate fossils and a final station of the applications of paleontology to conservation to showcase the diversity of paleontology. To assess student learning and attitudes toward paleontology, we used arts-based research methods in the form of narrative inquiry and youth co-creation of the Paleo Podcast. In pairs, campers were guided through how to create podcasts and interview their partner about paleontology concepts they learned and narrate what they think a day in the life of a paleontologist is like. The conversational framework allowed students to formulate and articulate their own thoughts, providing a more participatory and active approach to learning.

The arts-based research method of narrative inquiry will be used to code the data for emergent themes to gain rich insight into the youths' learning of paleontology concepts and perceptions of careers. Through the narrative coding process, portions of their participant created audio will be created around emergent themes to produce the Paleo Podcast as the final result. Such themes could include fossils, science communication, and youths’ relationship with science.

Through our description of the camp and its outcomes, we will illustrate the potential of how podcasts can be used in non-formal learning as an educational tool to promote active learning and as a novel arts-based research method that studies learners’ experiences through personal reflection. We will also demonstrate the potential of youth science communication outreach through podcasting. This research was in partnership with The Streaming Science Project and funded by the Paleontological Society.