The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Summation (NEES) completes its tenth year of operation in September 2014. The NEES Center consists of a network of 14 large-scale experimental laboratories that collaborate and share resources in support of research to inform civil engineering practice and reduce losses from future earthquakes. Since the development of the center in 2003, the education, outreach and training (EOT) program has grown from a federation of local outreach activities to an integrated network of "specialists" working together to obtain significant impact towards defined education goals. The leadership of the NEES EOT program has learned from the experience and wisdom of various Engineering Research Centers to establish a focused program to promote a highly talented next-generation research workforce through formal education programs and to increase awareness of earthquake engineering advances through informal learning experiences, webinars for technology transfer, and strong media coverage. The collaboration of EOT specialists, with graduate students, undergraduates and teachers to develop and implement learning experiences has proven to be a highly impactful approach for achieving educational goals of these participants as well as the learners they engage in various learning experiences. This paper describes the critical principles governing the design of an effective education and outreach program by a multi-site, geographically-distributed research center. These lessons will provide a framework for others interested in designing education and outreach programs at future large-scale research centers.
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- Brophy, S.P. & Anagnos, T. (2014). Large Research Center Education and Outreach: Lessons from 5 years of Distributed Collaborative Design, Development and Implementation, 121st ASEE Annual Conf., Indianapolis, IN.