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 ASA members conducting outreach will si- multaneously enact the purpose of the So-
ciety to generate, disseminate, and promote
the knowledge and practical applications of
acoustics. In addition, ASA members can act
as representatives to help grow and diversify
the membership. Currently, there are far fewer
younger members in the Society, as shown
in Figure 1 (data from the ASA Profile of
the Society Membership website, https://goo.
gl/Q2bb2b). It is unclear if young people are
not joining ASA due to lack of awareness or if
they are not entering the field at all. By doing
outreach, members will be able to interact with po-
tential members and become better equipped to understand why the ASA age distribution skews older.
The most obvious benefit of science outreach is that it can be both fulfilling and fun. By conducting outreach, I have learned how to create interactive lesson plans, how to con- vey complex scientific concepts to children, how to talk to mixed-aged groups to ensure that everyone is following along, and how to address misinformation. Depending on the type of outreach you engage in and what you put into it, your personal benefits will vary.
If you’re planning your own outreach effort, think about the format and audience. For example, if you want to create a website for children, complex equations will not be well re- ceived. At a loud university fair, interactive activities and fly- ers may work better than videos. Remember that you and your colleagues have a diverse set of skills and expertise. Your outreach will work best when you take advantage of these strengths. You can learn from those who are already doing acoustics outreach (Brigham Young University Acous- tics Outreach,; ASA Georgia Tech Stu- dent Chapter, but be sure to focus on what makes your program or research unique. The best way to learn how to be successful in outreach is to practice and you are welcome to participate in ASA outreach efforts.
The ASA Committee on Education in Acoustics (EdCom) hosts a hands-on demonstration session for middle-/high-school students and cosponsors with the Women in Acoustics (WIA) Committee a demonstration session for Girl Scouts called “Lis- ten Up and Get Involved.” Anyone interested in helping at an upcoming ASA meeting should contact the EdCom or WIA.
Figure 1. Distribution of ASA members by age. The data are based on 6,344 re- sponses collected in 2015.
 Finally, look for my reports in future Acoustics Today maga- zines. I will continue to write about how to get involved with acoustics education and outreach.
In the meantime, the following links are good resources for general outreach guidelines: University Engagement in Festivals: Top Tips and Case Studies,; Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal En- vironments,; and Center for the Ad- vancement of Informal Science Education, ls8SXJ.
Keeta Jones is the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Education and Out- reach Coordinator. She works closely with the Committee on Education in Acoustics. She received her BA in lin- guistics and German at the University of Toledo, OH, and is completing her MA
in linguistics at The Ohio State University. She conducted sociophonetic experiments and informal science education at the Buckeye Language Network facility located inside the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).
March, P. (2007). Broader Impacts Review Criterion: Dear Col- league Letter. Available at nsf07046/nsf07046.jsp. Accessed February 28, 2017.
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