Engaging Multicultural Audiences through Inclusive STEM Content on YouTube

PIs: Adam Dylewski (PBS Digital Studios; Project PI); Sara K. Yeo (University of Utah; Co-PI); Michael A. Cacciatore (University of Georgia; Co-PI)
Funding Source: National Science Foundation (#DRL-2120006)
Total Amount: $2,499,320
Dates: August 2021 – July 2024
Project Summary: This grant is a collaboration between PBS Digital Studios, the University of Georgia, and the University of Utah. From UGA, Dr. Michael A. Cacciatore is a Co-PI on the project and Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru is serving on the advisory board. The project is focused on an evidence-based approach to the production of PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube STEM content. A further focus is on expanding PBS Digital Studios’ audience, particularly among under-represented groups (URGs). The primary objectives of the project are as follows:

1.     Providing a unified online science-themed hub, PBS Terra, for hosting, sharing, and distributing disparate digital STEM series from across the PBS system on major social video platforms, especially YouTube.
2.     Conducting a nationally representative cross-sectional baseline survey to examine and understand the needs and expectations of URGs, especially women and Black and Hispanic communities, as related to the consumption of STEM video content online.
3.     Conducting supplemental focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of the observed STEM information seeking behaviors reported in the baseline survey.
4.     Leveraging PBSDS’ existing audiences to create panels for ad hoc surveys to obtain insight on viewers’ interest in potential STEM series concepts and pilot test research activities as needed.
5.     Using an experiment embedded in a survey to test hypotheses about the communicative effects of STEM videos that feature Black and Hispanic female scientists. 

Carolina Acosta-Alzuru  Michael Cacciatore