Week Two: What is going on?

Digital Science Communication

June 1st – June 12th
Course description: In this course students learn the skills required for modern, digital scientific communications including video production, public speaking in a virtual environment, creating posters, and writing abstracts. Students will review scientific information presented in professional and popular media and will produce drafts of videos, presentations, abstracts, and posters. In addition to learning effective communication, students will learn to evaluate the quality of science presentations available across various media from popular media (news, magazines, blogs) to professional sources (scientific journals).

June 1st

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Program virtual “huddle” with Kendra

Meeting ID: 921 7339 1580 Password: 529212

OPTIONAL: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM : Virtual VSSA – Faculty Seminar

See the calendar of seminars here: https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/vssa/virtual-vssa-2020/

1:00 PM-3:00 PM: Video Project 1 Brainstorming Session: Using “Mural” (Zoom Link here)

June 2nd

11:00 – 12:00 AM : VU-Mental Health and Persistence Meeting

Watching using Facebook Watch Party

Office of Intramural Training & Education

Navigating new jobs, the career exploration process, and research can seem overwhelming and lead us to doubt ourselves just when we need confidence the most. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss attitudes and behaviors that can get in our way and explore strategies for building resilience and dealing with self-doubt and developing our confidence. The workshop will highlight the emotional intelligence competencies needed for success in research and healthcare careers and will provide insights into approaches for developing these competencies as part of your NIH experience.

For more information go to https://www.training.nih.gov/events/view/_2/2831/Becoming_a_Resilient_Scientist

OPTIONAL: 3:00 – 4:00 PM : SU- Frontiers in Cardiovascular Science Seminar

Description: June 2nd, 2020 – Brian Fritz
Associate Director, Strategic Market Development & Programs, Immunology Segment Manager
10x Genomics


***Mentors assigned to group projects***

June 3rd

OPTIONAL: SU – Simulation of the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular disease

Dr. Alison Marsden – https://profiles.stanford.edu/alison-marsden

OPTIONAL: 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM : Virtual VSSA – MSTP Student Seminar

See the calendar of seminars here: https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/vssa/virtual-vssa-2020/

1:00 – 3:00 PM: VU: Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity

Meeting ID: 941 0289 0133
Password: 972869

Charlene Walton, M.D.

Director, Collegiate Diversity Partnerships

American Heart Association

Workshop description: My presentation is a case-based “what would you do” discussion focused on the plight of a single female parent who has to make decisions on a daily basis of how to spend her limited funds when “life happens.”  It involves a series of scenarios where participants will need to choose what is important–food, medicine, transportation, rent, education–as they maneuver challenges often faced by those affected by health disparities and inequities.  The exercise is called the “Poverty Simulator” and participants will be put into groups of 3-4 people to discuss and choose what the parent should do and disclose why.

June 4th

OPTIONAL (BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED): SU – How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper

OPTIONAL: 12:00 – 1:00 PM : NU: Cardiology 101

Register in advance for this meeting: https://northwestern.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvc-qtqj0pHNTMESEy_t6qgzHORd4HSPZw After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

OPTIONAL: 1:00 – 2:00 PM : NU: Medical Student Panel- Pathway to Medicine

Register in advance for this meeting: https://northwestern.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkdOCgrzgtGNRh-OIzf3aJLp2ss4QkwsTo After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

June 5th

11:00-12:00 PM : VU: Community Impact/Collective Impact

Meeting ID: 932 2855 1767
Password: 113478

Denise Constanza, AHA Vice President of Health Strategies, Middle Tennessee

Background articles to read on Collective Impact


  1. Using the internet, search for Collective Impacts in your community.  Come to the meeting prepared to present on one local Collective Impact.
    1. Questions to consider: What is the goal of the group?  Who are the main members?  Have they had success?  How often do they meet?  Is there an opportunity for you to join the Collective Impact in the future?
  2. What complex social problem would you solve using a Collective Impact approach?
    1. Questions to consider: Are there any existing Collective Impacts doing similar work anywhere across the nation? Who would you invite to join?  How will you grow community buy-in?  How will you judge success?

OPTIONAL: 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Virtual VSSA – Gap Year

See the calendar of seminars here: https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/vssa/virtual-vssa-2020/

OPTIONAL: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Resident Panel

BLOG POST 1 DUE: Science communication

In this blog post, you can use words, visuals, and add other media elements to explain why science communication is so important particularly in today’s world. The internet and increasingly social media have become the main source of science information for so many Americans. Moreover, there is an increased use of social media by scientists to talk about and read novel science. In a 2015 survey of 3,748 American-based scientists connected with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 47% had used social media to discuss or follow science, and 24% had blogged about science. Today, knowing how to communicate, particularly through digital means, is a critical experience for many aspiring scientists. Any researcher or student with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or a knack for making videos can become a science communicator. But, what exactly is science communication to you? Why is it so important? 

“Welcome to the virtual summer research experience” from Dr. Joey Barnett

Welcome to our PAECER and SURE summer programs in cardiovascular research. We have a great summer planned for you!

Our goal is to help you build solid scientific communication and critical analytical skills while exposing you to current issues in cardiovascular health equity and advocacy. Our programs provide you with unique networking opportunities that support the development of near-peer mentoring and career exploration.

By the end of the program, you will have built, produced, and presented a digital resource that will allow others to explore an area of cardiovascular interest of your choosing. Together, we will support a culture of discovery and engagement that will shape tomorrow’s leaders in cardiovascular research, care, and advocacy.

To see that we have in store for you next week see the Week One Schedule here!

Also be sure to visit the google calendar for a snapshot of this summers events via the Google Calendar (programming may – and most likely will – change)

Program objectivesActivity
Students will develop critical thinking and synthesizing skills to consolidate primary academic literature resources Students will develop two media projects that tackle CV related topics
Students will define and design “good” science communication practices for verbal, written, and visual communication as well as to balance these communication modes based on the medium.   Students will take a two-week course on Science Communication
Write for both a scientific audience (a scientific abstract) and a general audience (blog posts).Writing scientific abstracts and blog posts
Producing asynchronous digital material (10 minute video on a cardiovascular disease topic)Learn production process
Synchronous online presentation (virtual meetings),Students will present information to the group and to partner institutions
Designing a poster (virtual poster session)Students will compile a final poster based on their summer experience
Students engage in networking, career development, and near-peer mentoring using Slack and other virtual platforms to facilitate their personal career developmentStudents will be immersed in a virtual resources network to support their unique career interests.
Develop SMART goals and a framework for asking science questions and fostering a career in science.Students will complete a customized version of the iBiology PYSJ course
Students will know the components to designing an experiments in biological research. Students will complete a customized version of the iBiology Let’s Experiment course.

The never-ending quest for knowledge and figuring out how to communicate

by Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D.

Science communication is part of everyday life. Especially as scientists, you will be asked to give talks, write proposals, and papers. You will also be asked to communicate with a variety of audiences and engage them. To be a successful scientist means that you must learn how to communicate. Most specifically, it means that you must learn how to communicate. To be a successful scientist, you must be a successful communicator.

But communication is not limited to the sciences. As humans, we communicate with one another daily. We have all experienced ineffective communication. For example, when someone gives wrong directions or when people pass gossip like a bad game of telephone. What happens when you communicate poorly in the real world? What does it mean to communicate effectively?

In simple terms, effective communication is about getting the other person to understand what you are trying to tell them. To do this, you need to capture your audience’s attention, make sure they know the message, and, most likely, have your audience do something based on your message. The thing that you might want your audience to do could be as simple as remembering your message, applying it, or providing feedback. A message is not just information but also its correct interpretation within a context. A message has meaning. A message is to information what conclusions are to results.

If information is the answer to the question What?, then the message is the answer to the question, So what?.

So what is so special about science communication?

Science explores our world and gives us all a sense of wonder from what we find. The practice of science goes beyond individual experiments. It is a life of camaraderie for the pursuit of new knowledge. The process can be painstaking, but it is the pursuit of uncertainty that distinguishes science. Science is trying to understanding underpinnings while also knowing that it will be impossible ever to have a complete answer. Yet, science is helping to address many of the world’s leading problems, such as COVID19, climate change, and new energy sources.

These public health issues are essential for the public to understand to make informed policy decisions. However, without some understanding of the scientific process, it is hard to communicate, since science rarely, if ever, offers a definite answer. Science is needed to make an informed decision regarding these global concerns, but the pursuit of scientific knowledge is never satisfied. How do we communicate our understanding while also explaining that the quest for knowledge is never-ending?

This is the challenge facing science communication. Our goal of science communicators is to communicate scientific findings effectively while also demonstrating the insatiability of scientific pursuits. Perhaps the greatest quest is to build a science of curiosity and wonder in viewers while bringing them up-to-speed on scientific concepts.

Week One: What is going on?

May 26th

10:00-11:30 AM : Welcome Celebration

Meeting ID: 968 8500 4285 Password: 108750

Program Overview – Dr. Barnett

  • Introductions
    • Leadership 
    • Mentors
    • SURE students
    • PAECER students
  • What are we doing this summer? 
    • Partner institutions : UMN, Stanford, BU, Northwestern
    • Google calendar
    • The website
    • Summer media projects

Practice using Mural

Summer 2020 Introduction PAECER/SURE Activity

gif winner: Guyton Harvey

App On-boarding

  • Complete this survey about your learning environment this summer
  • Join Slack,
    • Create your profile
    • Join and write a post in the #Introductions channel
    • Post something random in #random
    • Create an emoji for Slack
  • Make an account and register for online courses on VUPace,
    • The registration guide can be found here!

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: We need a logo! Use your creativity to create a logo for this summer’s program.

Submit your logos here!

May 27th

10:00-11:00 AM: Building our Slack community

Meeting ID: 926 5106 8136 Password: 820518

Slack can be a fun engaging tool for us to build a virtual community and communicate. However, everyone needs to help build this community. Today, we will explore the various functions available in Slack and develop a set of “Slack Rules” to use as we progress through the summer. Our community will need to consider:

  • How are the channels going to be organized?
    • Team channels?
    • Project channels?
    • Random stuff channels?
  • How should we name the channels?
  • Where do we list the Google calendar?
  • Where do we list Online Courses?
  • What is our community engagement rules?
    • What is our community goal for the summer?
    • How will we communicate with each other in a respectful way?
    • What content is inappropriate? What kind of content is inappropriate?

We will discuss these questions in person and then will create a set of community rules in the Slack channel #communityrules


May 28th

10:00-11:00 AM: MEDIA PROJECTS: Video Production Overview

Meeting ID: 963 5553 7308 Password: 707364

During this meeting we will be discussing the major products that we will be producing this summer; 10-minute videos/podcasts that synthesis new discoveries in cardiovascular research. During this discussion, Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D., will give an overview of the video production process as a guideline for producing the media products. We will then have some time to explore currently available media from AHA, NIH, and others and share resources.

Reply to the blog post with three project ideas (with citations) and a link to an inspirational science video *Pro Tip: Start thinking about your first blog post due next Friday on Science Communication. Read this for Kendra’s thoughts*
On Slack, send Kendra a picture and short bio to use for the website
Last day to submit a logo!

May 29th

10:00-11:00 AM: Program virtual “huddle”

Meeting ID: 921 7339 1580 Password: 529212

This is our weekly check-in to see how everything is going and to address any issues with technology, questions with projects, or other matters.

We will:

  • Go over the introductory Mural activity
  • Finalize our community mission statement
  • Determine the best way to recognize people for awesome work (mentors and peers)
  • Go over any remaining questions about the media projects
  • Discuss the first blog post
  • What do you want to hear/learn more about this summer?