Each year, there is a growing amount of data in our lives. However, employers report having difficulties hiring workers with the necessary skills to successfully work with these data (Harris, 2012).
Many of our daily decisions are impacted by science, whether we know it or not. Yet, less than half of Americans report that they understand what scientists actually do (Science & Engineering Indicators, 2014).
Therefore, we believe that every citizen, as informed members of our society and our democracy, needs to be data and science literate. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension program Dataspire: inspiring data & science literacy offers programs to work towards a more data and science literate society.
What do we aim to achieve?
Everyone is empowered to engage with data and science in their lives.
Dataspire inspires and excites youth and stakeholders to be active citizens by enhancing data and science literacy.
- Enhance ability to read and interpret data.
- Build confidence in manipulating data in models and visualizations.
- Inspire critical thinking and ability to ask scientific questions.
- Enhance science communication skills.
- Collaboration as the key to success
- Consistency in service
- Optimism in making it possible
- Passion for effecting change
- Respect for others ideas and realities
* We aim to provide support for your efforts in data literacy and science communication, let us know how we can reach you best be completing our Online Communication Survey.
With whom do we work?
Through Dataspire offerings and projects, as well as collaborative projects with others, we work with the following Target Audiences to see change in the future in these Decision Makers.
Target Audience (we work with)
Decision Makers (to see change in)
|Educators 1||Youth/Students 2|
|Scientists 3||Stakeholders 4|
1 Educators refer to middle and high school formal science teachers, informal educators, and undergraduate professors.
2 Youth/Students refers to 4-H youth, middle school students, and high school students.
3 Scientists refers to graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, professors, RCE Extension Specialists, and other RCE staff.
4 Stakeholders refer to communities of people the scientists and RCE staff and faculty communicate with (e.g., farmers, fishermen).
How do we work to achieve our goals?
All of our offerings are focused around inspiring Data Literacy and effective Science Communication.
Data Literacy is a skill set through which one can analyze, interpret, and tell stories using data.
Science Communication is an approach to using appropriate skills and tools to connect with your audience to build their awareness, enjoyment, interest, opinion-forming, and/or understanding of the science.