How To Go Virtual For Mathematicians and Scientists
The transition to virtual, while it has its challenges, has opened up interesting dialogues to a more inclusive and global audience that would not have been able to attend in-person events. Members of the Math and Science world have met the challenges of going remote with innovation.
What are some strategies to cope with the changes?
Keep in mind: whenever you plan an ongoing, recurring or one-time event, you should immediately submit it to be featured on our Arts Oasis calendar.
Science and Math museums have introduced several online interactive and learning activities such as virtual exhibits and gallery tours. Some museums offer free live streams of workshops, and many have even set their animal exhibits on a 24/7 livestream so audiences can conveniently enjoy them from the comfort of their homes. Virtual exhibits have the ability to lay out a lot more information and related resources than a traditional museum exhibit can fit; this is a great time to dive deeper into your old and new favorite exhibits. Sharing these exhibits with peers and students is also a great way to increase engagement in the virtual classroom.
Zoom is a popular service used to hold seminars and lectures. At the start of the pandemic, Zoom quickly aligned itself with companies and universities. The platform offers multiple tools for flexible learning, including Break Out rooms, a Whiteboard, the ability to Record and Transcribe meetings, and so forth. Science and math professors can also record their lessons and then post them online, either to Google Drive or on a Youtube channel. Their students can access those videos at any time and use them as a resource to study. These videos can then be shared so that they can reach a wider audience.
What services can be helpful?
Free Resources for Hosting a Panel/Webinar
These free resources can be utilized by teachers, students, and experts in the field to share their ideas and continue to interact with each other.
Facebook Live - For a livestream. Museums have used this to host events while they remain closed.
Zoom - HD live stream controlled by host and with live comments section. ***Free version Limited to 40 minutes and/or 100 participants. The host can enter “breakout mode” allowing participants to break into and interact within smaller groups. This platform has been utilized for conferences because there is the ability to share a user’s screen, record, and build community because everyone can see each other’s videos. A comprehensive guide to navigating Zoom can be found here.
Instagram Live - Through Instagram “story,” audience interaction through live comments. The Q&A would not be moderated.
LinkedIn Live - “live video streaming” with third party plugin. Includes a chatroom panel.
Youtube live - Live broadcast a lesson, seminar, lecture, or workshop with the use of an API that allows you to market an event with a link before the event occurs. Comes with a live comment section and the ability to facilitate a Q&A moderated by the host. This service has been used by museums to run live streams of their animal exhibits!
Whova is an app that you can download in the app store that can also support conferences. This networking app encourages its users to reach out and have discussion boards where participants create and elaborate on conference topics. There is also a feature to ask questions and share live video lectures.
Professors and teachers are also collaborating now more than ever. Look online for resources and communities of teachers sharing resources. Some websites to start with are: https://onlinemathdegrees.org/leading-sites-for-teachers/ and https://www.edutopia.org/blog/websites-for-science-teachers-eric-brunsell
Math and Science academics are also finding new ways to share their lessons and help their students. One STEM online math course is VaNTAGe math which has a combination of resources, videos, slides, and live zoom discussions. This is made on a Google Site, which anyone who has a Google Drive can make. A Google Site or a recording of a video can all be shared with your social media and the larger public to put your work in front of a broader audience. Through these shared resources those outside academic circles can become more involved in academia.
In addition, these are specific museums you can visit or use for teaching opportunities. There are several museum websites that offer a variety of events and activities for you to access at your leisure. The National Museum of Mathematics offers online courses, virtual field trips, remotes summer camps, online workshops, and other enriching (and fun) resources. Check out a calendar of their events here. The California Academy of Sciences at Academy @ home offers several workshop livestreams and a livestream of their exhibits. Other museums offering remote events, workshops, and other resources include the Boston Museum of Science, the London Science Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and many, many more. Check out the website of your favorite museum to see what webinars and resources they are offering!