Outreach Activities

Mr. Steven Smith, EAPS outreach coordinator, facilitated multiple public outreach events during this deployment, during which more than 500 people came in contact with the DOW. Unfortunately, owing to statewide mandatory standardized testing during Week 2 of the deployment and spring break during Week 3, no public schools accepted our offer of an on-site demonstration of the DOW. Instead, most of the public outreach effort was concentrated in a single, day-long event at a local science museum, described in the next section.

GLOBE Citizen Science Day at Imagination Station, Lafayette, Indiana

Mr. Smith, the regional representative of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, arranged for a public demonstration of the DOW at Imagination Station, a science museum in Lafayette, Indiana targeting elementary school-age children. The DOW was the headlining attraction at a GLOBE-themed event entitled, “Disasters Happen: Are You Ready?” (Fig. 25). This event was promoted publicly on Imagination Station’s social media accounts and through flyers distributed in day care centers and public schools.

Fig. 25. Flyer / web graphic promoting the 10 March 2018 GLOBE “Disasters Happen” citizen science event. Note the headline billing of the DOW.

The DOW, situated in the parking lot at Imagination Station (Fig. 26), served as a first stop for many of the visitors arriving for the event. One CSWR staff member (A. Gilliland), an EAPS graduate student (D. Reano), and the PI allowed members of the public to climb inside the DOW, answered their questions, and distributed DOW stickers and bookmarks. Imagination Station board president P. Cardella reported that 468 people attended “Disasters Happen,” and the PI estimates at least 150 of these visitors climbed inside the DOW in groups of three to five. Many visitors arrived in family groups, with visitors ranging in age from infant to 87 years old. One family reported having driven more than 70 miles just to see the DOW.

Fig. 26. Visitors queue to climb inside the DOW during the “Disasters Happen” outreach event at Imagination Station in Lafayette, Indiana on 10 March 2018. Photo courtesy of Logan Judy.

Media coverage

The EAPS department promoted the educational deployment and outreach events associated with it, including an internet news story (Fig. 28) and video interview with the PI. The PI and the EAPS department used their respective Twitter accounts (@tornatrix and @PurdueEAPS) to keep followers up to date on any scheduling changes to the demonstration times and locations.


Fig. 28. Screen shot of part of the EAPS news release announcing the educational deployment, the visit by Dr. Kosiba, and the “Disasters Happen” event. The full news release can be found at http://www.eaps.purdue.edu/news/articles/2018/dow.html.

A local TV news channel, WLFI-18 in West Lafayette, Indiana, broadcast a one-minute segment about the “Disasters Happen” event at Imagination station on 10 March 2018. The DOW can be seen prominently throughout the piece, and the transcript makes mention of the NSF-sponsored educational deployment.

Individual tours

The CSWR staff facilitated a private tour of the DOW for a high school student who contacted the PI saying he could not attend the Imagination Station event owing to college entrance examinations the

same day. This student and a family member traveled across the state to meet with CSWR staff and one of the Radar Meteorology students on 3 March 2018. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity.