Conference Proposal Summary: Planning Meeting to Develop an Annual STEM Media Producers Consortium and Conference
Twin Cities Public Television in collaboration with a committee of STEM media professionals will organize a one-day conference devoted to network building and planning for an inaugural, multi-day STEM Media Producers Conference in 2013 or 2014. Professional organizations and conferences are well-known and effective means of building community and advancing practice within specific fields. Mass media – film, television, radio, and more recently, productions for online/digital platforms – have been a primary component of NSF’s support for informal science education (ISE) for more than three decades, drawing on the skills of an extremely diverse array of professionals. Yet despite the many common issues faced by these professionals and the increasingly cross-platform nature of ISE media projects in the NSF portfolio, at present no formal organization, professional society or annual conference exists for this community. An organization of media producers and a regular, annual meeting will provide a much-needed forum to address issues of training and professional development, facilitate cross-platform collaborations, increase the use of new media technologies, and synthesize evaluations and research into coherent statements of the powerful impact of STEM media – statements that can form the cornerstone of a STEM/ISE media awareness campaign. The event will take place in conjunction with the NSF PI Meeting in March 2012, capitalizing on the momentum generated at a media convening organized by the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) in July of 2011. The approximately 30 attendees will include participants in the July Convening and other STEM media professionals, all representing the subfields of Film, Television, Radio, and the increasingly important and diverse Online/Digital field, plus research and evaluation specialists and CAISE staff. The agenda will emphasize the potential of cross-platform collaborations and define a second agenda for a larger annual meeting that will include the larger community of STEM professionals.