Bringing Geoscience Careers to Public Spaces

A Format for Integrating Geoscience Careers into Local Learning Spaces Through QR Codes

Activity Leaders: Hector Garza, Michael Chiappone

We aim to expose the Austin community (especially students and educators) to the diverse range of opportunities and careers within the geosciences through the Texas Memorial Museum. The TMM is a university affiliated natural history museum with emphasis on the geologic, fossil, and biological heritage of the state of Texas.

By implementing QR based videos featuring geoscientists in a variety of careers, this program will allow visitors to see actual scientists who investigate topics present in the museum and what opportunities are available to follow similar career paths. Scan the QR code on the left to experience an example of what we created!

These videos will help enrich existing exhibit space by showing not only how amazing and important investigating the natural world is, but also the people who are out there doing so. The format of these QR videos is also able to be used in a variety of different public spaces, so on top of being installed in the museum, they could also be used in any number of educational settings. By providing this engaging connection to real-world geosciences in public spaces which can be replicated in other places that deal with the natural sciences, we aim to help inspire the next generation of geoscientists.

Our Design Process

In today's world, having increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary geoscientists working to better understand our planet and our relationship to it is more important than ever. As such, public understanding of what the geosciences is and why it is important for people to pursue, especially among young people looking for potential careers, is equally crucial. The Texas Memorial Museum in Austin, Texas is a location where natural science outreach already occurs on a daily basis, with both individuals and educational groups (from school groups to home school groups to scouting troops) coming through regularly. Thus, it can act as an important space for conveying the variety of opportunities available in the geosciences, which we aim to introduce more of through our project.

When speaking with associate museum director, Dr. Pamela Owen, we found that a popular method of learning among visitors to the museum is an audio tour available by mobile phone, which helped spark the idea of incorporating geoscience career-based videos into existing exhibit space through QR codes. QR codes are increasingly easy to access by anyone with a mobile device and are increasingly popular among young people who could benefit from learning about the diversity of careers and opportunities in the geosciences. QR codes also make this type of installation extremely versatile for use in all sorts of public spaces

Target Outcomes and Impact

  • Museum-goers leave with an increased understanding of the wide variety of important careers available in the geosciences

  • Increase exposure to the idea that geoscience is increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary


  • Click here or scan the QR code above to watch an example of the video format we created for use in QR series, featuring real geoscientists from a variety of careers!

Implementation and Moving Forward

We interviewed professionals in a variety of geoscience careers and created a format for a series of short videos to be implemented into the exhibit space of the museum through QR codes. This format could also be utilized in a variety other spaces going forward, from locally at the Jackson School of Geosciences to museums, schools, parks, and other potential learning spaces across the country where space is available for QR codes to be posted.