Photo of RFID club students

Written by Robert Garlinghouse on May 5, 2015

My Open Science Café experience

Launched in 2014, Kennedy Library’s Open Science Cafe is a new program that supports a student in planning an educational event on campus that features a speaker and topic of their choice. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve as one of the first Open Science Café leaders; it was a rewarding and valuable experience that provided me with a new skillset that I believe will be very useful to have in the start of my career.

Read more about the Open Science Cafe that Robert hosted: Living with an Internet of Things: RFID and Our Future.

I had little idea of what to expect at the start of planning this event, with little experience in planning events of this scale. I quickly learned a great deal about the value of detailed and organized planning. In addition, this was the largest group I’ve worked in partnership with on a project and through coordinating between all the different stakeholders I began to learn the importance of communication and how to do it effectively. The timeliness of this event happening around the same time I was on the job hunt was repeatedly a valuable talking point during interviews.

As I mentioned, I didn’t much know much about the Cal Poly Science Café or what to expect from this experience, but I became pleasantly surprised with how much freedom the group from Kennedy Library offered the RFID Technology Alliance Club as well as how much support we received in the process. The combination of those two things made it seem possible to explore all the ideas we wanted during the planning.

It was a rewarding, valuable experience and I am thankful to the staff at Kennedy Library for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. I look forward to seeing what events will be planned by future Open Science Café leaders and I encourage any student to apply.

Robert is pictured above at right with Raj and Logan, two other members of the RFID Technology Alliance Club. Read an interview with Robert in the winter 2015 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering newsletter, adapted from this blog. 

Open Science Cafe will accept student proposals in fall 2015.

Read more on open science cafe, and RFID and Internet of Things.

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