Dianna Cowern (Physics Girl)

Viral Blogger, MIT graduate, Software Engineer, STEM advocate
Expert Educator, New Media Expert

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 4.23.10 PMDianna Cowern is a science communicator and educator. She is the primary content creator for her YouTube channel, Physics Girl with PBS Digital Studios. Dianna received her BS in physics from MIT before researching low-metallicity stars at the Harvard CfA and designing an iPad app as a software engineer at GE. She then pursued her career in STEM outreach working as an educator at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center and as a physics outreach coordinator at UCSD. Her work on Physics Girl has been featured on the Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, and Scientific American blogs.


Where science meets cat videos

On the World Wide Web, science videos are often hidden among cute pets and prank videos. In this talk, I will discuss how the online community is beginning to embrace educational content. For example, my PBS Digital Studios show, Physics Girl has now amassed more than 290,000 subscribers and 17 million views. This presentation will cover ways to inspire future scientists and future science communicators with effective demonstrations, engaging videos and the marriage of various STEM disciplines. And we’ll watch a few fun videos along the way.

Physics beyond the formulas: Creating and sharing demonstrations

In classroom learning, the question is often asked, “What does this have to do with real life?” Some of the most effective learning comes from student-driven questions, curiosity and from when students can tie learning concepts to their daily lives. The aim of the PBS YouTube series Physics Girl has been to connect physics to the real world in a conceptual way through curiosity-inspired questions. There are two parts to this talk. One will focus on the characteristics of effective physics demonstrations as guided by the success of certain experiment-based physics videos in an online world full of non-educational noise. What demos work in videos and why? The second part will focus on how sharing can enhance the learning experience. What makes viewers care about these demonstrations? This part will address the collaboration and feedback gained by sharing physics during the learning process.

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