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Ncsli's Metrology Ambassador Outreach Program

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovation in Laboratory Studies and Outreach Programs

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.901.1 - 14.901.9



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Paper Authors


Georgia Harris National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Georgia Harris is the Group Leader for the Laboratory Metrology Group in the Weights and Measures Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She is responsible for the Laboratory Recognition, Training, and proficiency testing of State Weights and Measures Laboratories and has been involved in metrology for more than 25 years. Prior to her work at NIST, she was a metrologist with the State of Minnesota.

Ms. Harris is also the Vice President of Learning and Development in the National Conference of Standards Laboratories, International. She has been a Board member for 13 years and is responsible for establishing the current strategic roadmap for metrology education and training and for implementing changes called for in the roadmap.

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Elizabeth Gentry National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Elizabeth Gentry is the U.S. Metric Program Coordinator at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), responsible for metric resources and outreach. She is also the CO-chair of NCSLI Education Liaison and Outreach Committee.

Prior to her work at NIST, she was a metrologist with the State of Oklahoma Bureau of Standards.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



The National Conference of Standards Laboratories, International (NCSLI) began an active outreach effort to students of all ages as a part of its Metrology Ambassador Program in 2006. A number of outreach efforts were shared at the ASEE conference in 2007. During 2007, NCSLI improved our focus on training Ambassadors, outreach resources, and outreach strategies. This paper/presentation shares effectiveness and impact about metrology outreach approaches NCSLI has tried, along with ideas about next steps that should be taken.


Outreach approaches included providing guidance articles to the measurement community, hosting science-fair like events at measurement conferences, developing additional resources and tools for outreach to schools, inviting local professors and students to measurement conferences and regional meetings, and visiting universities.

Metrology Ambassador Guidance

In 2008 NCSLI began the development of a Metrology Ambassador program for outreach to K – 12 students and early university students. The organization wrote a series of articles in its newsletter to tell people 1) How You can be a Metrology Ambassador to give them ideas about making contact with teachers 2) Interviews with Metrology Ambassadors to give them an idea of what some key people have been doing (six members were interviewed) and 3) Resources for Metrology Ambassadors to share what resources are readily available to engage their local schools.

The key factor here was that NCSLI perceived a need to teach measurement professionals how to be successful in outreach efforts to students.

Effectiveness and Impact NCSLI has found that people who want to be Ambassadors want a complete packaged message for every audience. For example, having a measurement kit and hand-outs is not enough for some metrology professionals; they want a script and lesson plans too. Other Ambassadors demonstrate creativity and are able to effectively use the resources to supplement what they might do. Therefore, the effectiveness and impact is terrific for some, but less effective than it could be for others. NCSLI needs to find the right balance and level of effort in creating resources and providing guidance and encouragement to Ambassadors.

Next Steps Example lesson plans, and stories of how resources have been used are needed to supplement the resources to minimize the level of oversight and support needed from the committee chairs.

Harris, G., & Gentry, E. (2009, June), Ncsli's Metrology Ambassador Outreach Program Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5832

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