An Alumni Impact Story: Andrea Larney

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Andrea Larney is a professional communicator with a passion for science communication and science literacy. She is currently the Editorial Manager at Inside Scientific, an online educational forum for scientists, dedicated to increasing science literacy across Canada.

Andrea remembers her early years as an elementary student with a fond recollection of the days the teacher announced that Scientists in School would be visiting the class. “What I remember most is the feeling of excitement on the day we knew that the scientists were coming. We were excited to go to science class!”

Andrea describes herself as a curious child and believes that her curiosity was piqued by becoming a “scientist” when Scientists in School visited her class. “Scientists in School impacted me because it made science fun and engaging!” Andrea remembers that at times it was difficult to get the kids in her class interested in science and often hard to understand [science], but having a real scientist in the classroom who was excited to teach science, helped make [the subject] both interesting and relatable.

Andrea believes that Scientists in School is a huge asset to not only students but to elementary teachers, too. She likens the workshops to a “tool [teachers] can use in their toolbox to get kids interested in science! From my perspective, as an elementary student once, having something hands-on and engaging incorporated into the classroom and the curriculum is super invaluable for teachers”.

Andrea’s curiosity continued to be a driving force as a university student. Andrea contends that she pursued science in her undergrad “purely out of curiosity with no idea of where it would lead, but wanted to learn more about science.” Andrea, however, also found herself interested in writing and communication. She was fortunate to enrol in a program that allowed her to blend both passions. She attended the University of Guelph earning a Bachelor of Arts and Science followed by a Masters Degree in Professional Communication at Ryerson University.

In her current role, Andrea aims to make science accessible and engaging to a broader audience. Andrea maintains there is a huge space for communication in science. “The pandemic has put a spotlight on how important it is to curb misinformation and get the right information out, to help the public understand how the scientific process works.”

Andrea’s message to young kids – “Science is such a worthy field to pursue!”

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