AUDIENCE QUESTIONS FOR JO-ELLE MOGERMAN from H.e.a.r. Chicago Talk February 2015

Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman is Vice President of Insitutional Planning and Inclusion at the Chicago Zoological Society. She presented the principles and practice of a program at Brookfield Zoo that provides Chicago youth with authentic conservation experiences.

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Questions about Connecting to the Future 

  • What happens after the programs? Do you do follow-up?
  • What connections are you making for these students to other organizations? 
  • How do you set up teens for success in community action so that it is not a one-shot deal in either direction (teens & community)?
  • If students feel they missed an opportunity in high school, what is available after graduation?
  • With high competition for jobs in the environmental field (even entry level), how can we address the risk of not finding a job for people of color, or not high compensation--especially in non-profits?
  • "Diamonds in the rough" - what ideas does the merit scholars program (Uri Treisman) offer for this issue?
  • Are classroom teachers actual or potential advocates or ambassadors? Are faculty members thinking about careers, diversity, being more welcoming (vs. "weeding"?)
  • How do we get past searching for familiar behaviors to indicate potential success in new hires/job prospects?

Questions about the Student Participants and Their Growth

  • How do you recruit/how do you gain traction so the recruitment takes care of itself?
  • What are some common points of misunderstandings you need to translate through?
  • How are you finding kids and how are you losing them?
  • Do you have a lack of kids applying or a lack of diversity of kids applying?
  • Are teens hopeful about themselves? the world? the city? Does this experience make them more so? Does it lead to action (e.g., on climate change)?
  • Themes? Are their portfolios all iMovie Prezi PPTs? What are their guidelines? Wide open?
  • How do teens get to you?
  • How will the teens help plan the conference you are planning?
  • Do teens also participate in either research of informal science teaching? (UIC - Learning Sciences)?
  • How old are the high-school participants?

Questions about Connecting to Other Programs in the Area

  • How can you train or inspire other program providers to work with the diamonds in the rough?
  • How would I get one as an intern?
  • Do you work with Project Exploration? The Hive Chicago? 
  • Does this work have any implications for engaging younger kids? For what happens in schools?
  • Are you looking for participation from other institutions with teen volunteer programs in the teen conference?
  • Do you know of Teen explorers - August at Powderhorn?

Questions about Evaluation and Program Parameters

  • How is the teen program at the zoo well integrated versus a separate program that gets at diversity?
  • Have you studied your program's effects on college/career/etc.?
  • How long has this program been going on? What activity have you seen that teens seem to respond to best?
  • Are there specific lessons, knowledge, or questions that spark the interest of teens, from your experience, as they related to conservation, sustainability, etc.?
  • Do you get pushback?
  • Is transportation an issue?
  • Have you seen a change in the "face" of applicants for jobs and internships?

Questions about Emotional and Community Connections

  • What did you personally get that felt like "support" for you to pursue a conservation career?
  • How do conservation messages connect to faith messages for teens?
  • Is it really an issue of it not being sexy? What are the real issues of "making it?"

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