From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Making effective and efficient use of outreach resources can be difficult for student groups in smaller rural communities. Washington State University's OSA/SPIE student chapter desires well attended yet cost-effective ways to educate and inform the public. We designed outreach activities focused on three different funding levels: low upfront cost, moderate continuing costs, and high upfront cost with low continuing costs. By featuring our activities at well attended events, such as a pre-football game event, or by advertising a headlining activity, such as a laser maze, we take advantage of large crowds to create a relaxed learning atmosphere. Moreover, participants enjoy casual learning while waiting for a main event. Choosing a particular funding level and associating with well-attended events makes outreach easier. While there are still many challenges to outreach, such as motivating volunteers or designing outreach programs, we hope overcoming two large obstacles will lead to future outreach success.
Elizabeth A. Bernhardt, Viktor Bollen, Thomas M. Bersano, and Sean M. Mossman, "Outreach at Washington State University: a case study in costs and attendance," Proc. SPIE 9946, Optics Education and Outreach IV, 99460C (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 27 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236719.
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