Connecting Beyond the Research Community: IceCube Education, Outreach, and Communication Efforts
Proceedings of 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference — PoS(ICRC2017)
As an international organization, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory has 48 collaborating institutions, each of which carries out efforts to engage and inform the public. Examples of activities include one-time talks and posts on social media, support for local science and technology programs, and development of visualization tools and inexpensive detectors for student use. In this paper, we describe four successful examples of centrally supported IceCube education, outreach, and communication
... orts to reach beyond the research community. First, we give an overview of the field deployments to the South Pole for high school teachers that we have provided in partnership with the PolarTREC program, supported by the US National Science Foundation. This program enables high school teachers to join the IceCube team and experience firsthand the challenges of doing cutting-edge research in the extreme Antarctic environment. Next we describe the IceCube Masterclass, a day-long event held at multiple IceCube Collaboration campuses for motivated high school students. It was offered for the fourth time in spring 2017. After that, we describe science news articles, short summaries of IceCube results and activities, regularly posted on the IceCube webpage and promoted via social media. The last example we discuss are IceCube videos, some produced in conjunction with prominent partners such as TED-Ed, which have been seen by more than two hundred thousand viewers. A few of the most noteworthy IceCube science results have been followed up with in-house-produced videos. For example, a video on IceCube's sterile neutrino results has received more than ten thousand views. We will provide metrics that describe the reach of these activities along with early efforts to assess the impact of IceCube's education, outreach, and communication activities.