CienciaPR has a long history of tapping into the collective knowledge of our community to create educational and informational content to make science accessible and relevant to the Puerto Rican context and culture. We invite members of our community to submit short articles or videos about earthquake-related topics to publish and distribute widely through our website and social media platforms (instructions below). To submit a short article or video, contact our Director of Communications Dr. Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also invite you to share existing handouts, websites, articles videos and resources by adding them to this spreadsheet.
CienciaPR reserves the right to select among submitted articles or videos for publication.
We are interested in receiving articles on earthquake-related topics (preferably in Spanish), including the science behind earthquakes, how earthquakes are studied and measured, mental health after a natural disaster, structural engineering, science policy topics, and how to know whether a building is safe, among others. The main goal of these articles is to educate and the audience is non-scientists. Below are a few tips to help you write an article for a non-scientific audience.
- Keep the article short, no longer than 600 words.
- Use everyday language for an 8th grade reading level.
- Use simple grammar and sentence structures (i.e. break down long phrases into multiple sentences).
- Define complex scientific words or concepts with simple language.
- Write in an entertaining and accessible way for non-scientist readers.
- Use analogies or metaphors to explain complex scientific concepts. It is easier to understand a complex concept if it’s compared to familiar.
- Use culturally-relevant references to help the reader relate to the story. For example, if the article talks about seed dispersal, use the African tulip (meaito) and not the maple tree (maple tree) as a reference for a Puerto Rican public.
- Make pop culture references that will be commonly appreciated by your audience.
- Through the article, answer the following questions from the reader's perspective: Why should this topic interest me? How does it affect me?
- If possible, articles should be accompanied by an image related to the topic. The images must be of high quality, in landscape format, preferably taken by the author. If the images do not belong to the author, they must ensure that they are in the public domain or that the copyright allows them to be reused.
Here are some examples of articles we have previously published (Spanish):
- Puerto Rico… ¿la punta de un volcán?
- Sierra Bermeja: Testimonio de historia boricua
- Placas tectónicas, terremotos y maremotos
Following Hurricane Maria, in collaboration with doctors from Yale School of Medicine, students from the University of Puerto Rico, and the group Puerto Rico Rises, CienciaPR disseminated a series of public service announcement (PSA) videos about public health topics. A PSA is a message in the public interest to educate, raise awareness and change public attitudes and behaviors towards a social issue. We invite members of our community to create short videos (~2 minutes) on earthquake-related topics (preferably in Spanish), including the science behind earthquakes, how earthquakes are studied and measured, mental health after a natural disaster, structural engineering, science policy topics, and how to know whether a building is safe, among others. The main goal of these videos is to educate and the audience is non-scientists.
These videos can easily be recorded with a cell phone or a laptop. Below are a few tips to help you develop and record a video PSA (modified from Center for Digital Education, How To Make a PSA, and Tips for Creating Your Own PSA)
- Identify your topic. Keep your focus narrow and to the point. Focus on only one idea.
- Research your topic. Even if you are an expert, find additional sources of information and references. You want to be convincing and accurate.
- Remember your audience. Use appropriate language to make sure the content is accessible for an 8th grade level audience.
- Create a script and keep it brief. A 60-second PSA will typically require about 120 written words. Be sure the information presented in the PSA is based on up-to-date, accurate research, findings and/or data.
- Identify yourself as an expert, mentioning your expertise, title (if relevant), and institution
- Film your footage and edit your PSA. Most laptops and/or phones have some kind of simple video editing software like iMovie and QuickTime.
Here are some examples of PSAs we have previously published (Spanish):
- By submitting an article or video, the author guarantees that the content is their own, that it contains accurate data and information.
- The author grants CienciaPR the right to publish their article or video on its online platforms, including social media channels. For more details of our copyright policy please see: http://www.cienciapr.org/politica-de-uso-y-de-privacidad.