ComSciConCAN and the Positive Impacts on STEM Graduate Students’ Confidence and Sense of Belonging
Keywords:Science Communication, SciComm, Science Communication Workshop, SciComm Workshop, Sense of Belonging, SciComm Confidence
Background: Although Science Communication (SciComm) is a growing field, there currently exist a large number of undergraduate- and graduate- level SciComm training programs worldwide. Two noted benefits of such programs are improvement in SciComm confidence and sense of belonging. ComSciConCAN is a graduate level SciComm conference; no studies have previously looked into the impacts of this conference, which encouraged us to initiate this study.
Purpose: To explore the impacts of ComSciConCAN on the participants’ confidence in communicating with other scientists and the general public, and their sense of belonging in their current STEM programs and SciComm activities
Methods: ComSciConCAN-2021 participants were asked to complete pre- and post- workshop surveys. Data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel, and unpaired t-test statistical analysis was conducted (when applicable) using Graphpad.
Results: With regards to confidence, significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the mean levels reported for all three cases pre- versus post- conference. Regarding sense of belonging, 65% and 83% of the participants reported at least “somewhat agreeing” that the workshops will help improve this in their current STEM program and SciComm activities, respectively.
Conclusion: The conference did have a positive impact on the participants’ SciComm confidence and senses of belonging.
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