The Everyday Wonders of Science

Rural communities are oftentimes neglected when it comes to science communication. This leaves individuals feeling excluded, negatively impacting their relationship with science. The aim of this project is to get more people, especially those in rural communities, to engage with science. For this project, I have created a podcast mini-series highlighting the ways that science impacts our daily lives. Episodes include How the Internet Connects Us, The Importance of Improving Water Quality, and Why the Scientific Method Isn’t Just for Scientists. In order to cater this podcast to rural communities, I have partnered with various public libraries across the state of Iowa to establish content areas of interest and ways to reach their patrons. The podcasts consist of interviews with professionals and faculty at the University of Iowa that have extensive experience in the areas of interest. These short episodes are intended to be easily digestible in order to get people excited about science and how it works without us even knowing.

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Author Bio(s): 
Preston Johnson is a third-year student majoring in neuroscience with minors in theater and chemistry. For the last year, he has been a research assistant in Dr. Amanda McCleery's lab where they study serious mental illness, those who suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Their research focuses on better understanding the neural processes that underlie these psychopathologies and creating ways in which they can improve daily functioning for these clinical populations. As a Latham fellow, Preston wants to bring everybody to the science table, especially those in rural communities, in order to show everyone the wonderful ways that science positively impacts the world. In his free time, you can find Preston performing in community theater, playing video games with his brothers, or playing pickup basketball.
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