Athens, OH 30 September 2015 –
Last weekend, some of the Engineering Ambassadors, including myself, participated in an workshop specifically for Engineering Ambassadors. The event took place over the course of three days at Ohio University and students from West Virginia University, Ohio State, Eastern Michigan and Penn State were in attendance.
The goal of the event was to receive training in a public speaking with an emphasis on effective communication of science and engineering information to a broader audience. During the workshop, we collaborated with a partner to create an outreach presentation that could be given in a classroom and paired with a hands-on activity.
The first day, we learned about the elements that make an effective presentation. These elements included: content, passion and knowledge of your audience. The next day was focused on constructing our presentations, doing run-throughs with some of the other groups and receiving feedback from them. Finally, on the last day we gave our presentations to the entire group as if they were our target audience.
In addition to learning and implementing these presentation skills, we also got the opportunity to network with the ambassadors from the other schools. It was interesting to hear about what they do as ambassadors at their respective schools. Although OU’s engineering ambassadors program does not currently have a focus on outreach as some of the other schools do, I think it is something that could be implemented in the future. Educating young students about what engineering is is important because many of their perceptions of it are misinformed.
After attending this workshop, I believe I have the skills necessary to create and deliver an effective outreach presentation. I also have a greater confidence in my presentation skills as a whole which has already helped me on several occasions.