George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason Science, Communication Students Come Together for School Environmental Action Showcase

April 10, 2015

Students in "Science, Media, and Outreach" construct wind turbines in preparation for promoting the April 9 School Environmental Action Showcase at Mason. The showcase brings hundreds of middle and high-school students to Mason's Fairfax campus.  Photo courtesy of Cindy Smith and Erin Ziegler.

Students in “Science, Media, and Outreach” construct wind turbines in preparation for promoting the April 9 School Environmental Action Showcase at Mason. The showcase brings hundreds of middle and high-school students to Mason’s Fairfax campus. Photo courtesy of Cindy Smith and Erin Ziegler.

George Mason University hosted an estimated 1,000 guests at its Fairfax Campus for the fourth annual Environmental Action Showcase April 9 at the Center for the Arts. The Showcase encourages science and tech-savvy K-12 students to create solutions to current environmental issues.

Students from George Mason communication professor Katherine Rowan’s Science, Media and Outreach class worked together with the College of Science faculty and students to raise awareness, judge student project proposals and provide organizational support to help make the event a success.

“[The showcase] is a great way for communication students to develop a portfolio of professional news releases, photos and social media exchanges that will assist them in getting jobs,” Rowan said.

“To make the showcase a success, students have to work together across interdisciplinary lines at that intersection between science, communication and community engagement,” said Mason graduate student Elizabeth Striano, one of the event organizers who is currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Mason.

Wind turbines construction in preparation for promoting the April 9 School Environmental Action Showcase at Mason. The showcase brings hundreds of middle and high-school students to Mason's Fairfax campus.  Photo courtesy of Cindy Smith and Erin Ziegler.

Wind turbines under construction to promote the April 9 School Environmental Action Showcase at Mason.Photo courtesy of Cindy Smith and Erin Ziegler.

Communication major Anabella Tourakman, who also assisted with the showcase, highlighted the importance of local college-level engagement with K-12 students. “It is really important for the middle and high school students to come to Mason to present their science-informed projects because it gives them purpose and confidence,” Tourkaman said. “It also gives them a chance to learn, inform others and build a passion for science.”

The event, funded by 4VA, is hosted jointly by Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, NoVA Outside, and Earth Force, in coordination with the James Madison University Center for Wind Energy.