March 2023 Newsletter – Storytelling
Storytelling offers the opportunity to talk with your audience, not at them.
– Laura Holloway
Come sit with me, as I tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a great scientist who made a groundbreaking discovery; after months of gruelling work fueled by an undeniable passion, it had all paid off. They were excited to share their discovery with the world, but they didn’t know how.
First, long scientific papers were written but ended up left unread. Then lectures were undertaken under bright, fluorescent lights, but eyes glazed over with disinterest. No one seemed to understand the magnitude and importance of the work. Those late nights & weekends spent in research, failed experiments, tears and triumphs – they can’t have all been for nothing; people needed to hear about this project! One day, while walking to school, the sound of a voice on the edge of hearing interrupted these thoughts. On the left, a park, people gathered around a central figure, faces caught in rapt attention. As the scientist wandered near, the voice told a tale of passion and curiosity, heartbreak and perseverance. With the final words ending in triumph, a pure moment of silence filled the air, before figures were cheering and laughing, dispersing with enthusiastic reflection shared between one another. At that moment, it all clicked; the personal matters, storytelling is the key!
Hurrying back to the lab, the scientist threw themselves into creating a story that mattered, one that everyone could understand and rejoice in. Metaphors and vivid descriptions, interspersed with the emotions & motivations experienced throughout the journey, brought the discovery to life. At the STEM fair, this story captivated judges and visitors alike, opening their eyes to the previously unknown and moving their hearts in ways they hadn’t expected. It was clear to all that this WAS an important discovery, and it NEEDED to be known to all!
And so , I leave you with this; storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to communicate even the most complex scientific ideas. By using stories, we can make STEM even more accessible and understandable to everyone. When we tell stories, we can capture people’s imaginations and inspire them to take action. And that’s something we should all be striving for in STEM.
📢 Exhibit and Experience 📢
Think of a scientific concept you know very well – maybe something you have learned from a STEM project. Now, imagine how you would explain this concept to different groups of people. How would you explain it to kindergarteners? How would you explain it to elementary and high school students? How would you explain it to an expert in the field? Don’t forget the power of storytelling! Here’s a helpful video if you’re stuck!
Here are a few of the latest stories to come out of Youth Science Canada:
“After my time at CWSF (2012, 2013, 2014), I completed a BSc in Chemistry at StFX University where I did research with the professor I interviewed for my science fair project in 2012 – full circle moment! Then I completed a BEd and am now a math and science teacher in Nova Scotia doing science fair projects with my own students 😊”
– Shannon Christine –
Fun Stuff That’s Caught My Attention Recently
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This newsletter is a reflection of my own desire to better embrace the power of storytelling. Our adventures in STEM are interwoven with shared experiences and interests, and I hope you’re enjoying the stories & content in these newsletters (if you are finding value in these emails, I always appreciate some feedback 😜). Each month I hope to explore a new theme related to our shared love of STEM and our desire to see the youth of Canada discover & maintain interest in scientific inquiry.
Next month’s theme will be Moments – how are you ensuring you ‘stop and smell the roses’? If you have advice, resources or a story to tell about how to live in the moment, hit reply and let me know! Until then, stay curious.
💜 Much love!
Youth Science Canada
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