Broader Impacts Faculty Symposium - Science ATL

Emory University Broader Impacts Faculty Symposium

May 15, 2020. 1:00-2:30pm. Held virtually via Zoom.
Register by May 14.

The symposium will introduce models for science faculty engagement in the community, with emphasis on meeting broader impacts needs for grant proposals. Participants will hear faculty success stories and access resources and plug-and-play opportunities that add value to grant proposals. The integration of public engagement activities within the context of broader impacts aligns well with the One Emory strategic framework, in particular with Pillar 4: Atlanta as a Gateway to the World, which intends to “realize Emory as a core part of the civic fabric of Atlanta.”

Participants will gain access to project descriptions for a variety of plug-and-play outreach opportunities with Science ATL, a nonprofit organization that produces the Atlanta Science Festival and other community engagement projects, plus connections to those who can consult on expanded or customized projects.

The symposium is funded by the Emory University Strategic Framework and produced by a collaboration between the Emory Center for Faculty Development & Excellence and Science ATL.

Emory University


All sessions will take place online via Zoom conference on May 15, 1:00-2:30pm. The link will be emailed to registrants.

1:00 – 1:10pmWelcome and Introduction (Eric Weeks)
1:10-1:15pmAbout Science ATL (Sarah Peterson)
1:15-1:40pmSuccessful Models of Engagement (Vialla Hartfield-Méndez, Justin Burton, Eri Saikawa)
1:40-1:50pmQ&A with Presenters
1:50-2:00pmScience ATL Resources (Jordan Rose) & Science Gallery Atlanta (Kevin Karnes)
2:00-2:15pmBreakout groups:
– Partnering with K-12 Schools (Jordan Rose)
– Producing Public Events (Sarah Peterson)
– Training/Support for Community Engagement (Vialla Hartfield-Méndez)
2:15-2:25pmShare Out
2:25-2:30pmConcluding Thoughts (Eric Weeks)



There is no cost, but you must register in advance. Please register online by May 14.

Pre-Symposium Work

After registering, please review the agenda and faculty project descriptions below. Then, to help frame our discussions to be most useful for you, please complete the Pre-Symposium Survey where you can also share any initial questions you would like to see addressed.


  • Eric Weeks, Ph.D., Vialla Hartfield-Méndez, Ph.D., and Norah Elmagraby, Emory Center for Faculty Development & Excellence
  • Sarah Peterson, Ph.D., and Jordan Rose, MPH,
    Science ATL


  • Justin Burton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Physics. The outreach efforts in the Burton Lab are a team effort that involve undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists. We are mostly focused on K-12 STEM education. For the past 5 years, our lab has led an after-school science club at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in Dekalb County. The monthly club is designed for 30 students in 4th or 5th grade. Most recently, the students experimented with “squishy circuits” of conducting and insulating playdough, learned about CO2 acidification of the oceans with dry ice, and built “scribble robots” that draw pictures as they move on the ground! As part of the Atlanta Science Festival, our lab also leads an annual open house event in the Physics Department called Physics Live! Nearly 400 people join us for a day full of physics demos, laboratory tours, and planetarium shows. Preparation for this event takes about 1 week and relies on the dedicated assistance of the Society of Physics students, a club which is advised by Prof. Burton. In addition, the research in the Burton Lab is often featured in multiple news outlets, including ones designed for young students. Recent projects include the tipping over of large icebergs and the physics of giant bubbles. Finally, Prof. Burton is an advocate for science-based education surrounding climate change. He has given numerous public lectures on this topic, such as The Science Cafe at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Funding for outreach: NSF CAREER Award 1455086, NSF Award 1506446, Emory Department of Physics, Atlanta Science Festival
  • Eri Saikawa, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences. The Saikawa Lab members and students in her classes have been involved in community outreach in two different ways. First is via various outreach activities through Dr. Saikawa’s NSF Atmospheric Chemistry award (AGS 1350021). They visited Science Day at Mill Springs Academy in 2014, King Middle School in 2015, Druid Hills Environmental Club in 2016, Tucker Middle School in 2017, DeKalb Alternative School in 2018 and Centennial Academy in 2019 to teach middle school and high students about air pollution and climate change. In 2018, the PI also participated in Punk Science outreach in Telluride, CO, talking about air pollution. The Saikawa Lab has disseminated research results more broadly to the public by hosting Atlanta Science Festival events every year since its inception in 2014 in March. For two years, the PI incorporated the project into her Atmospheric Chemistry class and the students presented their research on air pollution to middle school students and also at the Atlanta Science Festival. The lab has also held various climate-related events on campus, including four annual Climate Weeks since 2016 and the annual Universities for Cleaner Georgia Conference, since 2018, involving more than 50 students from all over Atlanta (Emory University, University of Georgia, Auburn University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oxford College, and Georgia State University). Lab members have also started working on setting up a low-cost air quality monitoring network on campus with the Office of Sustainability Initiatives seed grant, as a way to raise awareness of air pollution and visualize the data on the website. Second, the Saikawa Lab has been involved in community-engaged research via the pilot grant project that was funded by Emory’s HERCULES Exposome Research Center (5P30ES019775, Marsit PI) since April 2018. They have measured heavy metals and metalloid (HMM) concentrations in soils from approximately 30 urban sites in West Atlanta and from three rural gardens/farms at least 30 miles outside of Atlanta. Through their work with community members, Saikawa’s soil HMM contamination findings prompted an EPA Removal Site Evaluation. As a result, EPA started excavating contaminated soils in a small part of a West Atlanta neighborhood in January 2020. In addition to soil screening, the lab has  conducted phytoremediation, analyzed children’s blood lead levels, and assessed residents’ awareness of the exposure to HMM for the past two years.

About Science ATL

Science ATL Inc. is a nonprofit organization that produces public events and community-building activities that improve access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEM/STEAM) learning opportunities, and strengthen Atlanta’s STEAM ecosystem. The organization, originally called Atlanta Science Festival Inc., was founded in 2014 by Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Science ATL continues to produce the annual Atlanta Science Festival which has brought engaging informal science learning experiences to more than 250,000 people in the metro region. Beyond the Festival, Science ATL produces new and accessible year-round events, broadens and strengthens partnerships across educational, cultural, and industry sectors, and prepares the next generation of STEM leaders. Science ATL includes The Science Scene public events calendar, the Chief Science Officers leadership program for middle and high school students, a science communication fellowship for graduate students, and additional public science events and learning opportunities throughout the year, such as Sci-Cycle and the 5K Race Through Space.

About Center for Faculty Development and Excellence

Emory University’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in the Office of the Provost supports faculty in all aspects of their career: research and scholarship; teaching and pedagogy; and professional development. Reaching across Emory’s nine colleges and schools, the CFDE collaborates with academic leaders to serve faculty in specific areas. Within the CFDE, the Engaged Learning Program offers workshops, consultations and assistance in community partnership development. Working with Science ATL, the CFDE has developed workshops for the students of faculty who partner with Science ATL on projects designed for broader societal impacts. Offered twice yearly by the Director of Engaged Learning, the 2-hour workshops focus on awareness of context (Metro Atlanta, Science ATL, and its partners); the dynamics of community-campus partnerships; the ability to pair knowledge with communication and application; professional/public presence while participating in the partnership; and guidelines for reflective learning during the partnership. Not only will this enhance the effectiveness of PIs’ outreach efforts, but this training is itself beneficial to the professional development of the participating lab members.

Founded by: Emory University Georgia Institute of Technology Metro Atlanta Chamber

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