Of all the courses we have taken with MOSS this year, Science Communication has had the greatest impact on my education and my scientific identity. My final project for the course was a podcast that centered around my snowpack knitting, presented as an in-depth look into my reasons for choosing to combine science with handcraft. In the podcast I explored the significance of fiber crafts for me personally, as well as their importance in the lives of other craftswomen. By the end, I came to the conclusion that fiber art is a powerful connector between both people and ideas. Those connections can span continents and lifetimes, and served as the final link between my own identity and the scientific community. While the actual knitting was what bridged that gap, my work in Science Communication gave me the space and awareness to recognize that change in myself and its greater significance.
The work of creating my podcast was an endeavor in self-reflection and vulnerability. I asked myself and others to open up about why fiber crafts are important in our lives – what can knitting do to bond us? What impact do these hand-made items have on our relationships, our identities? I found through this creative process the significance within my knitting, an importance that I had innately felt but not explicitly understood. I finally saw that the act of creating with our hands, and the intention behind a handcrafted gift, carries the power to bring people together, to bring ideas together, and in my case, to bring a person closer to an idea.
Listening to stories, conducting interviews, and wrestling with my own answers to the questions I was asking allowed me to break apart my previous understanding of what it meant to know or to do science. After a year of knowing that science can take many shapes and forms, and teaching that to my own students, I finally accepted it for myself. In listening to my podcast now and looking back on my snowpack knitting, I feel more confident than ever before to move forward in my career as an environmental educator and science communicator. I am excited to take this experience and apply it to my future learning and teaching; I plan to facilitate experiences for future students that allow them the space and time to experience science through a variety of experiences and mediums. I believe that students will come to feel more connected with their learning when they can connect it to their personal sense of self, finding the bond between their creativity and their education. As I look forward to the next chapter after MOSS, I am excited to see how my new understandings of how people can relate to science will inform my own teaching philosophy, and the ways in which my own science identity will continue to evolve and grow with time.