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Sound Perspectives
L. Keeta Jones
Education and Outreach Coordinator Acoustical Society of America 1305 Walt Whitman Road Suite 300 Melville, New York 11747-4300 USA
ASA Education and Outreach Program
Before discussing how to conduct outreach, I want to briefly reiterate its signifi- cance. Acousticians who do outreach are often introducing the public to acoustics for the first time and inviting them to not only get involved, but to also understand and value the field. These interactions generate public interest in and support for acoustic research. By developing and including outreach programs in research, acousticians increase their chances for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and other grant-funding orga- nizations. Remember that anyone can benefit from doing outreach. Whether you are a university professor, a professional engineer, a graduate student, or any other kind of acoustician, you can contribute to the purpose of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) to generate, disseminate, and promote the knowledge and practi- cal applications of acoustics. For more information about why acousticians should do outreach, see my article in the Summer 2017 issue of Acoustics Today (https:// Here I discuss how acousticians can develop their own acoustics-themed outreach program.
First, decide on the kind of outreach you would like to do. Remember that “acous- tics” is a broad term. You could choose to focus on a specific topic, such as vi- brational transducers, aeroacoustics, phonetics, or acoustic cloaking, or do acous- tics more broadly. Below are some acoustics outreach ideas and examples. This list is based on the American Physical Society (APS) Outreach Ideas list. You can find more tips about implementing outreach on the APS Outreach Guide website (
Acoustics on the Road
Bring acoustics to your audience, such as K-12 schools, colleges, festivals, and con- ferences. This could be hands-on demonstrations, presentations, or a combination show. You can tailor your road kit for a specific age group or have variations for different kinds of audiences. The ASA Girl Scout Listen Up and Get Involved ses- sion ( is an example of a road show. The ASA brings all the equipment and invites the guests.
Acoustics Lectures for the Public
Lectures are a great way to introduce the public to acoustics research and to meet scientists in different departments, organizations, and businesses. Public lectures are different from academic lectures. They should be designed for people with lit- tle acoustics background. Typically, lectures are geared toward an adult audience, but you can choose themes or topics for any kind of audience. The Northeastern University ASA Student Chapter ( often has invited speakers at open meetings.
Science Cafés
The purpose of cafés is to get people comfortably talking about acoustics and the science of sound with researchers. Because this event typically starts with a lecture component, it could easily be combined with a lecture series. A science café works
 ©2017 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved. volume 13, issue 4 | Winter 2017 | Acoustics Today | 69

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