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Manager, Science Outreach

Date: December, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Executive Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): (Outreach Associate (Co-op) and volunteers (300+))
Location: Outreach office EIT 2010, Dean of Science

35 h/wk



Dean of Science Office

Primary Purpose

UWaterloo Science Outreach provides programs and enrichment activities to increase awareness of the importance and value of Science to society. It supports Science teachers in expanding Science literacy and understanding through curriculum-aligned activities for both Elementary and Secondary school students.


The Manager, Science Outreach role has responsibility for management and implementation of all facets of these programs and events, including developing new programs, setting and administering budget, attracting sponsors, and marketing and delivering programs.


In keeping with the Faculty of Science’s strategic priority area of enhanced visibility, reputation and community, the Manager, Science Outreach also supports events and public lectures with the purpose of making science and research an accessible and comprehendible topic for all interested audiences.


The Manager, Science Outreach is accountable to the Executive Officer to ensure that the scope of activity is aligned with priorities of the Faculty of Science. Direction with respect to Faculty priorities is derived from specific goals set by the Dean, Associate Dean – Undergraduate Studies and other members of the Faculty’s Administrative Committee.

Key Accountabilities:


Organize and coordinate delivery of programming for school age audiences. Currently, one program (Let’s Talk Science) is offered to elementary school audiences, while a range of programs are offered to high schools.  

Elementary School programs:

  • Develop and annually review offered kits; align with curriculum; reflect UWaterloo Science research topics or programs and careers
  • Revise kits using feedback from volunteers and teachers
  • Train volunteers
  • Assess capacity of the program, set goals and strategies
  • Solicit and manage registration
  • Supervise daily coordination of visits, volunteers, kit preparation
  • Set and administer budget for the program

High School programs (combination of on- and off-campus workshops):

  • Develop agenda and activities for events. Depending on the scope of the program, activities may use past resources or require activity development from a blank state.
  • Provide audience-appropriate programming that may include tours of research labs on campus
  • Ensure that adequate supervision is provided
  • Train volunteers in a manner appropriate for event
  • Document events (text and photos) and report on outcomes for future improvement
  • Solicit and manage registration for programs and events
  • Communicate with any campus stakeholders (e.g., room booking or parking)
  • Develop and use tools to assess success of program activities. Assessment may be used to share success with other programs through papers and conferences, annual reports
  • Work with Recruitment Coordinator to assess opportunities for recruitment strategies
  • Liaise with school boards and teachers to determine suitable classroom outreach content or teacher training opportunities


Develop annual events for school-age audiences including:

  • Science Open House
  • Summer community events (Discovery Square, library programs, KidsPark booth, UW Canada Day booth)
  • Science department or school events (e.g. school-age programs associated with World Wetlands Day, Gairdner Lecture, TD Walter Bean)


Promote outreach activities and events:

  • Advertise and promote programs and events through websites, printed media and other means (work with Creative Services, Science Communications and Community Relations)
  • Attend teacher conferences or PD day workshops
  • Maintain content of Science Outreach website, adjust to reflect current opportunities for connecting (work with Science Web)
  • Communicate with participants before/during/after the program as appropriate. This includes answering questions teachers/parents may have about programs and registration process.
  • Communicate with school boards to find best way to promote programs to teachers and students.
  • Work with community groups to foster relationships to better communicate science to specific interest groups (e.g. RASC-KW).
  • Communicate with teachers to help better understand needs of audience.
  • Work with Community Relations and Science Communications to celebrate outreach successes.


Provide oversight for Outreach Associate (co-op position)

  • Hire and train associate as Outreach school program coordinator each term (in turn, they oversee 300+ volunteers and manage day-to-day program requirements)
  • Advise on volunteer management, prioritization of tasks, organization of materials
  • Encourage professional development during the work term
  • Support work term report development, appropriate topic choice
  • Provide daily support as required.


Coordinate public lectures and events

  • Assess new and current opportunities for impact, value to Faculty outreach goals
  • Attend Community Relations campus-wide meetings to coordinate efforts with other outreach groups
  • Attend events, provide familiar face of Science to community
  • Outline responsibilities of various involved parties
  • Coordinate logistics (room, AV, parking, registration).


Engage the Faculty of Science in Outreach initiatives:

  • Communicate with Outreach volunteers (undergrads, grads) to enhance their understanding of the importance of communicating Science, benefits to their skill development, etc.
  • Be aware of research / new technologies that could impact programs
  • Provide lecturers and faculty with opportunities to communicate their research passions to audiences
  • Align Outreach strategies and goals with Faculty strategic plan
  • Provide annual report to Dean, Executive Officer, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Chairs.


Coordinate Outreach efforts for all Science departments and schools; offer support for department/school-led outreach initiatives (e.g., Earth Sciences Museum, Chemistry outreach):

  • Stay current with department and school outreach initiatives
  • Collect data to maintain a master record of audiences reached through Outreach initiatives
  • Advise on strategy, offer support and resources
  • Develop shared resources, such as public or teacher contact lists, workshop development methods, promotion strategies.


Future planning

  • Negotiate space and facilities for Outreach activities
  • Work with the Director of Advancement to foster and develop relationships with potential sponsors and supporters
  • Ensure that Outreach programs align with faculty objectives by working with Associate Dean, Undergraduate, and Dean of Science
  • Solicit, compile and assess feedback on Outreach activities.


Position Requirements


Bachelor of Science degree required, Master of Science degree preferred.



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other

MS Office

(Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)



Social Media



Web-based Event Management Tools




Google Apps


Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

This role requires well-developed interpersonal and communication skills. In particular, a high level of comfort with public speaking is essential. A naturally outgoing and friendly temperament is necessary to facilitate community engagement (on- and off-campus community). The ability to influence stakeholders and provide effective volunteer management is also essential to the role.


Internally, makes contact with personnel on campus to:


Internally, collaborates with, and seeks engagement from:


Externally, makes contact with, and/or presents to:

Level of Responsibility:

Decision-Making Authority:

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Role requires a high level of attention to detail and ability to work in multi-tasking manner. The role also requires some exertion of physical or sensory effort that could result in moderate fatigue, strain, or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

Travel: Some local and regional travel is required. Examples include: classroom/school or community visits and/or events; Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) conference; Let’s Talk Science conferences and meetings.


Working Hours: Regular working hours, some evening/weekend work required. Extended hours may be required during times of peak activity. The Outreach Coordinator is expected to be present for some, and be reachable for all events and outreach-related activity.


Risks – physical and psychological:

Physical risks: Typical of those associated with occasional business travel and occasional outdoor events.

Psychological risks: Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a coordinator position.