Katie Stofer is Research Assistant Professor of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education and Outreach in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. She studies public engagement with science, particularly what makes public engagement effective for both scientists and various publics, and designs new models of public engagement.
Resources for Research in Science or STEM Education (4/6/2023) - As a State Extension Specialist in "STEM Education and Outreach" (so says my job title), I help people locate resources. Some of the requests I get and compilations I've put together include resources related to agricultural education (yes, Ag is part of STEM) free-choice learning via agritourism, social media, events, and more! public engagement with… 1 Resources for Public Engagement and Outreach (4/7/2021) - Here's another oldie-but-goodie pulled from pages as IFAS migrates blogs. These are some of the public engagement with science (aka science outreach or informal science education or science communication) resources I have found in my day. Public engagement, as defined by the AAAS, involves learning by all participants in an activity, including those traditionally positioned… 1 Looking for a career in public engagement with science or STEM? (4/1/2021) - If you're working on a career in public engagement with science ... As my IFAS blog migrates internally, several individual pages I have will be going away, so I am re-publishing them as blog posts. I originally published this list of resources in 2019. As we have finished a full calendar year with COVID in… 1 Agritourism Resources for Florida Extension and beyond (3/31/2021) - So my IFAS blog is moving ... sort of. I have several pages I've created over the last few years that I'm re-posting now as actual blog posts. This post covers agritourism-related resources for Extension agents, producers, and other educators that I've compiled. Please feel free to send suggestions and updates my way. Statewide IFAS… 1 Looking for a career in public engagement with science in or out of academia? (2/22/2019) - If you're working on a career in public engagement with science ... I’m compiling a set of resources for people looking to get jobs in public engagement with science. (or STEM) or outreach or informal science education or free-choice learning (you can read more about how I see the differences here). Mostly this list is… 1 The joy and pain of online survey #research with Amazon Mechanical Turk … (9/14/2018) - So I just ran my second paid online survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Despite my internet searches of how to do this right and treat participants fairly (there is discussion about whether these are "workers" or research participants and how much compensation is fair in those cases - this article discusses the worker side, primarily),… 1 Back in the swing for fall (9/11/2018) - Over the summer, there were several changes to our TIDESS project team. We said goodbye to Carrie, who won a prestigious award to help her finish her dissertation (defense scheduled for October 25!), and Peter, who graduated. We welcomed two REU students, Ian and Saylie, and had temporary help from grad students Shae, and now… 1 $58 million … is it a lot or not? (8/14/2018) - Well, it depends. $58 million is what NASA estimates a trip around the moon as a SpaceX tourist would cost. For most people, it's out of reach compared to our median U.S. incomes of $59 thousand in 2017, or about 1000 times less than the cost of a ticket. But, $58 million is only about… 1 @AAAS says likely industry won’t fill funding gaps if federal funding for R&D is cut (11/1/2017) - "The evidence suggests limits to industry's willingness to fund R&D vacated by the federal government, should Congress go along with the White House's budget plans." https://www.aaas.org/news/new-brief-could-industry-fill-gaps-following-federal-rd-cuts For academic and basic research, which underlies much of the translational, clinical, and practical innovation in the world, this funding loss could be a heavy blow. In a time… 1 Welcome back reminder: #AgSTEM #STEMed frameworks document (8/29/2017) - can be found on @UFAEC 's web site, linking Ag Ed and STEM Ed guidelines for teachers. We produced this document through USDA's Multistate S1057 project: More about the project here and here. We are in the process of renewing the project for the next five years. Ag Ed guidelines:https://www.ffa.org/sitecollectiondocuments/council_afnr_career_cluster_content_standards.pdf STEM Ed guidelines (NGSS):… 1 #Citizenscience redux and video (8/7/2017) - I took on an #extension fellowship in 2015 on citizen science, to promote its use throughout #coopext. This continues to pay dividends, as I am now in the process of taking on my first PhD student advisee, who wants to study citizen science! To celebrate, here's a re-link to a video interview of me about… 1 CATALySES teacher #professionaldevelopment kicks off @ufcpet @nih #scienceeducation (6/19/2017) - It's day 1 of our new NIH funded teacher workshop on emerging pathogens: CATALySES. We have 15 high school teachers ready to go for a two-week experience combining content, lab practices, facilities tours, and planning for action research in their classrooms. I'm leading the evaluation and research for this 5-year project with the assistance of… 1 eXtension Fellowship in #CitizenScience article published in JOE! (4/24/2017) - #CoopExt @extensionLearns I spent a year in July 2015-16 helping eXtension determine the potential for, and current state of, citizen science in Cooperative Extension programs. In short, there are a lot of people participating in almost every way possible - from sharing programs with their stakeholders and getting them involved in existing projects to creating… 1 GEO students present research at local undergraduate conferences #nsf #ugresearch #geoscience (4/18/2017) - Two of our Santa Fe College undergraduates from the 2016 Geoscience Engagement and Outreach program (joint SF/UF/Orlando Science Center, NSF awards 1540724 and 1540729) just presented their research at local conferences: Diego Sanchez, my mentee, presented a poster at the Santa Fe Research in Undergraduate Education festival. He took second place. Samantha Allen presented her… 1 New TIDESS project website! (4/12/2017) - We are rocking and rolling now on my NSF AISL project, now called Touch Interaction for Data Engagement on Spherical Screens (formerly Think Globally, Interact Locally). So we have our own website for it, with blog posts from many of our six (!) students working on the project. Here are a couple of earlier posts… 1 Free-choice learning/informal education journals #sciengage #infscience #scicom #scicomm (2/22/2017) - Here's a sometimes-updated list of journals I use for Free-choice learning and informal (science) education. AKA nonformal education (See my article Stofer, 2015 for more info on these terms) in the Cooperative Extension world. Please share and/or comment with suggestions! Public Understanding of Science International Journal of Science Education, Part B Science communication: Science Communication… 1 GEO students visit UF labs (2/15/2017) - Over the past few weeks, the Geoscience Engagement and Outreach (GEO) students from Santa Fe College have been visiting the labs of the UF mentors in preparation for selecting which mentors they want to work with. We tried this method this year after last year selecting students for research groups based on their interests expressed… 1 On Vera Rubin and the idea of needing permission to do science (12/27/2016) - A friend just forwarded me the link to the obituary for Vera Rubin by NPR. She faced gender discrimination in her career as an astronomer but also became a trailblazer for women, eventually making a groundbreaking confirmation of the existence of dark matter. In reading the obit, I found a couple of compelling points. First,… 1 This reporter gets it! (11/29/2016) - This article in the Gainesville Sun today really captures the essence of the public engagement I'm trying to do. It was really exciting to have the reporter spend so much time covering this. Thanks again to our sponsors COSEE-Florida (a National Science Foundation program) and UF/IFAS for all their support in getting this off the… 1 My conversation with @ndbob about #citizenscience in #cooperativeextension (10/7/2016) - Bob Bertsch just had me on his program Working Differently in Extension this past Monday. I talked about what I found out through my time as a Citizen Science fellow for eXtension.org. Check out the recordings (with or without video), as well as Bob's show notes and links to his other interviews here: YouTube –… 1 Visualization research gets good press in Science Daily (9/15/2016) - My recent publication, When a Picture Isn't Worth 1000 Words: Learners Struggle to Find Meaning in Data Visualizations, got a great press release from UF/IFAS, which was picked up by Science Daily. I got a wonderful email from UF News alerting me to the pickup! Now I'm curious whether it was the research, the title… 1 Wrap-up from a year as eXtension's Citizen Science Fellow (9/7/2016) - I just wrapped up a year working with eXtension.org as a Citizen Science Fellow, trying to understand and support citizen science efforts throughout Cooperative Extension. Read all about my findings here. You can also go straight to the resources I compiled here. I welcome your feedback either here or on the original posts. It was… 1 Wrap-up from a year as eXtension’s Citizen Science Fellow (9/7/2016) - I just wrapped up a year working with eXtension.org as a Citizen Science Fellow, trying to understand and support citizen science efforts throughout Cooperative Extension. Read all about my findings here. You can also go straight to the resources I compiled here. I welcome your feedback either here or on the original posts. It was… 1 An example of science communication in uncertainty – from a physician (8/9/2016) - In science communication/outreach/engagement, I continue to push myself and others to remember we have to value the knowledge in our audiences - they are not blank slates or empty pails waiting for us to fill them up. It's hard, because I grew up in and managed to learn well enough from a system that works… 1 LITW students present at NMEA 2016 (6/29/2016) - Two of my undergraduate research students, Esther and Meghana, presented a poster of our preliminary research plan for "talk science with me" at the National Marine Educators Association 2016 Conference this week in Orlando. They also took part in the day-long Youth Conference. Esther commented: "I actually have a deeper passion for the project seeing… 1 More updates – from an undergraduate collaborator! (4/8/2016) - Check out all the progress on a museum data visualization prototype exhibit I am working on with two colleagues in UF's Computer and Information Sciences department. These posts are by Annie Luc, our undergraduate collaborator, in the lab of Dr. Lisa Anthony. 1 Education Research/Outreach/Communication Interns wanted! (4/6/2016) - I'm always on the lookout for a few good interns - undergraduate level, generally, but motivated high school students are welcome to contact me as well, or graduate students looking to broaden their experiences. Here are some of my current needs. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact info… 1 The best laid plans for data collection went awry in almost every way imaginable! (4/5/2016) - For a recent round of data collection with a new prototype exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Lisa Anthony, Annie Luc, and I made our plans. We decided we needed a phillips-head screwdriver to dissassemble the touch-table we needed to transport, a cart from the department to carry the table to the freight… 1 Another grant I'm working on – #USDAHEC (3/21/2016) - In 2015, Dr. Brantlee Spakes-Richter and I, with members of the American Phytopathological Society, received a USDA Higher Ed Challenge award to study introductory plant pathology (plant disease) curricula across the U.S. We want to know: what and how are people teaching in these courses, and how they match (or don't) employer expectations? Stay tuned! 1 Another grant I’m working on – #USDAHEC (3/21/2016) - In 2015, Dr. Brantlee Spakes-Richter and I, with members of the American Phytopathological Society, received a USDA Higher Ed Challenge award to study introductory plant pathology (plant disease) curricula across the U.S. We want to know: what and how are people teaching in these courses, and how they match (or don't) employer expectations? Stay tuned! 1 See me talk about careers in translational STEM communication (2/8/2016) - A belated link to a panel I was part of for the UF STEM Translational Communication Research program last summer on career opportunities in science/technology/engineering/math communication for broad audiences. I was also a "Member of the Month" in July 2015 as an affiliate researcher with the initiative. 1 New paper on citizen science in college classes published in JCOM! (1/21/2016) - See http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/15/01/JCOM_1501_2016_A03 For part 1 of a special issue on Citizen Science in the Journal of Science Communication, collaborators in Entomology at UF and beyond had their undergrads participate in citizen science as part of a general education course. We investigated what they learned (sort of, as it was hard to disentangle from overall learning… 1 Part 2: Dr. Stofer Goes to Washington (new expanded edition!) (10/23/2015) - The longer story of my visit to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's recent forum as well as the afternoon planning workshop on citizen science and crowdsourcing is now posted on the Extension Ed Techs blog. 1 Dr. Stofer goes to Washington (10/20/2015) - I was recently privileged to attend the White House's forum on citizen science (aka public participation in scientific research). I blogged about the new toolkit released to promote and support citizen science and the potential for it in Cooperative Extension here. 1 STEM … plus plus plus = ??? (9/24/2015) - So STEM. I talked about what it means to me in an earlier brief post. I most often hear it as an acronym for "science, technology, engineering, and math," as in "STEM Education" (in fact, my professional title includes STEM Education). However, operationally, educators struggle with what it means to be STEM. This, among other… 1 No data is too obvious to publish (8/17/2015) - One of the main goals of the UF Ag-STEM lab is to help re-connect what have become separate, siloed disciplines: science and agriculture. I have a research publication out about the potential to do that in science centers: I was also interviewed a couple of times about the associated UF press release: Brownfield Ag Radio… 1 Off to NARST and AERA (4/9/2015) - I'm headed to NARST and AERA in Chicago next week. I'll be presenting at NARST in two sessions: The Basu Scholars Symposium and a Strand 2 Session Tuesday morning. 1 The pace of publication – does qualitative take longer? (12/8/2014) - I just had my first paper from my dissertation published: Comparing Experts and Novices on Scaffolded Data Visualizations using Eye-tracking. It was on the (mostly) quantitative results of my mixed-methods study, completed in early 2013. My co-author and I started on it last fall, and submitted it in April of this year. The review was… 1 What does STEM mean to me? (10/22/2014) - I got a chance to look back at my former lab at Oregon State today:, and I saw Susan's post asking what I think of as STEM? As those who know my career path might imagine, like Susan, I've had STEM, particularly science and math, in my world for almost as long as I can… 1 Teaching with Visualizations of Data (5/1/2014) - Teaching with Visualizations of DataSuggestions for teachers (aimed currently at high school level, but adaptable) to help students learn with visualizations of data 1 Creating Visualizations that are understandable to broad audiences (4/30/2014) - Kelly at VizCandy tells us we must know our audience when building a data visualization, giving steps to think about when planning what charts and visualizations to build, and how much data to display. I have a few follow-on suggestions for actually representing the data. Many of the examples I give are U.S.-centric, as that… 1 Joining the digital age … at least professionally (4/29/2014) - So, I've got a professional blog now! That is, a blog about my professional work, not necessarily reflective of the money I make off of this (I don't). I do have an Extension appointment as part of my work, however, and I hope that this will help me get some of the word out about… 1