Mission and Vision

Science on Wheels aims to connect scientists with citizens living across the state of Missouri. We target groups traditionally underrepresented in science or underserved by science outreach, with particular focus on people living in rural communities. To engage with these groups, we develop and implement programs that bring scientists from the University of Missouri together with people in informal, conversational settings where scientists can foster dialogue about their research and why it matters. Through this, our goal is to promote public engagement with science in Missouri, encouraging public support of science and contributing to the University of Missouri’s land grant mission. We also showcase diverse representation in science by recruiting scientists from a wide array of backgrounds, identities, and scientific disciplines. We envision Science on Wheels becoming a lasting organization at the University of Missouri and beyond, providing every person in Missouri an opportunity to meet a scientist.

Our scientist speakers consist of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from the University of Missouri, Columbia. A parallel goal for Science on Wheels is to provide resources for our speakers to reach their outreach goals. We provide our speakers with formal training in science communication and peer feedback as they develop presentations and interactive activities which they can then practice in our outreach programs. This provides speakers with skills that enhance the quality of our outreach programs and contribute to their development as engaged scientists. Furthermore, Science on Wheels embeds our speakers within a community of individuals with similar interest in science outreach spanning departments across campus. We envision Science on Wheels becoming part of a network of graduate student engagement activities at MU and contributing to the development of engaged scientists into the future.

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