Enrollment in university geoscience courses is declining, but the demand for geoscientists is predicted to grow in the next 20 years. Geoscience has a bad image and we need to do something about it, to get people back into GeoScience.
The key questions we should be asking are:
- Who do we need to be communicating with?
- What do we need to communicate to them?
- Why do we need to communicate these things?
- How do we get the message across?
These factors are clearly all inter-related, but beginning with the audience we want to influence is always a good start.
When we have established a target audience, for example Key Stage 2 (7-10 year olds), we have to decide what we need to communicate to them and why. Only then can we focus on the communication delivery channel.
In the case of Key Stage 2 the objective (the what?) might just be to get them interested in rocks, fossils and minerals. Why? So they might choose to study it in Key Stage 4. But how do we engage that audience and encourage that interest? Perhaps we create more activity kits for KS2 teachers. Badges for Cubs and Brownies. Rockhound games on their smartphones. A youtube channel with Rockhound videos and suggestions for holiday activities. A Rockhound superhero cartoon series . . . .
Just let you imagination go! Anything is possible!
There are numerous audiences to target and a myriad ways to do it. We just need to get coordinated.