I currently lead the communications team for a project to build a giant optical telescope.
My background is in physics and astronomy and I have experience in social media, website management, blogging, writing for the public, creating resources for high school teachers, event planning, and public speaking.
Below are descriptions and clips of my other science communication activities since 2007.
If you have any questions please email me at amanda.kocz[at]gmail.com or leave a comment below.
Museum of Science, Boston
Between mid-2012 and March 2014 I spent many hours in the Museum of Science‘s Discovery Center (DC), a space for children age 0-8 and their grown ups. I volunteered for around 150 hours and then became an intern in October 2013. My time in the DC was spent on Interpretation – interacting with children and adults to allow them to get the most out of the exhibit. I could be showing a toddler how magnets go together (or not), helping a four year old with their scissor skills, or spending 20 minutes with an eight year old investigating the properties of the DC’s rock and fossil collection. On weekends was part of the auxiliary team which sets up a lab for the day, handling around 20 people at any one time, to investigate common materials found in the kitchen or create and experiment with slime.
On 20 Jan 2014 someone tweeted photo of me in action.
Lectures and Special Programs
I interned with this group between October 2013 and March 2014. I worked with the team to bring together a series of evening programs for adults featuring scientists and practioners presenting lectures, panel discussion and film screenings. Behind the scenes we worked to prepare the lecture hall, look after the speakers and any sponsors, write the program information sheet, man the registration desk, and roam the theater at the end of the lecture taking questions.
Astronomy Australia Ltd
AAL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing Australian astronomers with the best possible research infrastructure. I was involved in a myriad of communications activities at AAL between 2010 and 2012, including putting together the Annual Report, writing minutes of committee meetings and even writing a grant proposal. I also wrote the text for factsheets for a couple of the projects we were involved in:
- PLATO: Antarctic Plateau Robotic Observatories
- National High Performance Computing Access for Astronomy
The Palerang and District Bulletin
While I was working on my Masters of Science in Science Communication at the Australian National University (ANU) (see below) I wrote a science column and some features on local scientists for the Palerang and District Bulletin – a free paper for a rural community near Canberra. (Note, these were published under my maiden name of Beasley)
Column: What’s the Big Idea?
- Mysterious ‘dark matter’ challenge to Newtonian Physics – July 2009
- Banish guilt and stay cool with a solar powered air con… soonish * Neanderthals not like us … but we could chat if needed * Manipulating your gambling streak – April 2009
- Oh my God! virtual reality to a phone near you * Love that smelly tee shirt * Runaway living success – October 2008
- Why we don’t print on 100% recycled paper * Do aliens like Doritos with their beer? Stay tuned for 84 years * Antimatter and gravity – upside down or not? – July 2008
- Glasses != nerds * Colourful cubism * The end of the world is… not nigh – May 2008
- Head in the stars, feet in the vineyard – Prof. Brian Schmidt – June 2009
- That mysterious wiry thing on the Hoskinstown Road – Duncan Campbell-Wilson – May 2009
- On the cutting edge of building machines – Prof. Hans Bachor -December 2008
MSc in Science Communication
I took this course at the Center for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University between 2007 and 2008. Through our assignments we got the opportunity to practice some real-world science communication skills, and produce real materials from them. Below is a selection of those materials. (Note, these were written under my maiden name of Beasley)
We interviewed a fellow student then created a podcast. Mine was on the work of the CSIRO Sustainable Cities and Coasts Research Group – April 2008 [Transcript]
Brochure, poster and website
We took a crash course in Photoshop/Dreamweaver/Indesign and created an integrated set of products including a brochure, a poster and a few pages of a website. – June 2008
Our course on public speaking and acting techniques culminated in a 10 minute talk (without notes) to the department, illustrated with powerpoint and props, using the following imagined audience:
For your audience, assume you are talking to the general public at the Science Festival during an evening presentation. Such an audience consists of people of all ages, none of whom have any specialist scientific knowledge of your topic.
Cold and Empty – A hole in the Universe – October 2007
The title of my thesis was ‘Teacher resources in kinematics: a project for the Physics Olympiads’. For this I created two sets of resources that could be used by high school teachers to teach physics and that would also be a way of advertising the Physics Olympiads to them. – October 2008 (If you would like a copy of my entire thesis just let me know)