“I fully embrace my inner nerd and want to share with our youth that science is our future and it is so exciting!”
This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to…Lindsey Yoder
Where are you based?
Who do you work for?
What type of science communication do you do?
I am a Science Cheerleader, a group of current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders that have STEM- based careers. We engage the public through appearances and on the web to learn about science. We inspire adults to participate in science experiments and activities, and our youth to pursue a career in science.
Who is your main audience?
We engage all ages but I connect mostly with young girls. I help them understand that you don’t have to fit a certain mold to be a scientist- you can be a cheerleader and a engineer or a gymnast and a doctor!
How did you get into it?
In college I was an ambassador for the College of Engineering. In this role I would recruit potential students to consider pursuing a degree in Engineering. I was on the college dance team and would share my experiences balancing school and sports to inspire students to take on the challenging Engineering courses. I would explain how exciting Engineering is and all the opportunities it presents. My passion for communicating how great STEM is has never left, and I was extremely eager to be a Science Cheerleader the moment I heard about it.
Why do you do it?
I grew up thinking scientists were born smart; that they solved math equations instead of playing with dolls and went to MIT and Harvard. I did believe the stereotypes, and found myself hiding the fact that I was smart so that I wouldn’t be labeled as a ‘nerd’. Now I fully embrace my inner nerd and want to share with our youth that science is our future and it is so exciting! The opportunities I have been given were given to me because of my science background and I want everyone to have these same opportunities to do really cool things that solve the world’s problems!
Why do you think science communication is important?
I think it is so important because science is what solves the world’s problems and if we don’t communicate how cool science is, then we won’t have anyone interested in science to help shape our future.
What do you love about science communication?
The thing I love most about science communication is seeing others get excited about learning something new, and then start asking questions about everything around them like ‘How is that made?’ or ‘Why use that material?’
What has been your favourite project?
My favorite project with Science Cheerleader has been Project MERCCURI (Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on ISS) This research aims to compare microbes we collect at various venues across the nation, with those the astronauts find on the ISS. We’ll also compare growth rates by sending up to 40 of the samples we collect to the ISS!
Do you have any new science communication projects coming up?
I continue to do appearances and speaking engagements on behalf of Science Cheerleader, and our Project MERCCURI is still going on!
Any tips for those wanting to get into science communication?
Volunteers are needed so test the waters by contacting your local science museum. From there you can participate in events and get involved with communicating science to the public.