About the Talks

Hot Science – Cool Talks provides a front row seat to world-class research. Presented by the Environmental Science Institute (ESI) this nationally recognized series allows leading researchers from The University of Texas and other prominent universities to share their passion about science, technology, engineering and math with the general public. Events are held six times a year.

What’s it all about?

Hot Science – Cool Talks events are immersive educational experiences. Each talk consists of:

  • Cool Activities: Prior to each talk, attendees explore the evening’s topic through hands-on activities and demonstrations the whole family can enjoy.
  • Talk with Q & A: Speakers lead a 40-50 minute talk, followed by a 15-20 minute moderated Q & A.

Interested in participating in Cool Activities?

Cool Activities are an excellent way for organizations to expand the reach and awareness of their programs. Each talk has between 500 to 1,000+ attendees. This is a great networking opportunity for organizations across all science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, as well as private and public sector entities.

ESI offers tabling and exhibition space, tickets for organization volunteers and discounted parking (for events at the UT campus) to organizations and volunteers participating in Cool Activities: 

  • Organization set-up begins at 5:00 p.m. A small sign identifying your table is provided. We encourage organizations to bring additional signage for their table. Access to electricity and internet may be available depending on the venue.
  • Cool Activities happen from 5:30 – 6:40 p.m. Our audience consists of K-12 students, teachers, parents, university faculty & students and adult learners. We encourage demos, displays and hands-on activities related to the themes of the talk.
  • Talk starts at 7:00 p.m., with seating for Cool Activities volunteers. It is recommended that participants begin closing down their displays at 6:40 p.m. Participant displays and tables are supervised by ESI staff during the talk.
  • Talk ends at 8:15 p.m. after Q & A (times may vary depending on speaker).

Interested in participating? See a list of our upcoming talks and contact Didey Montoya at didey@austin.utexas.edu for additional details.

Interested in leading a talk?

Our speakers are leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Math professionals, passionate about research and excellent communicators. Talks typically have 500 – 1,000+ attendees, consisting of the general public; K-12 teachers, students and parents; university students, faculty and staff; and the general public. Please see our list of expectations for presenters. Thank you for working with ESI on an engaging science event!

Are you a K-12 teacher or educator?

Educators receive CPE credits for attending the talks. If interested in bringing a youth group (K-12 class, homeschool group, boy or girl scout group, etc.) to the event, please send an email to outreach@esi.utexas.edu at least 3 weeks prior to the event to inquire about group tickets. Spaces to the talks are limited.

ESI also shares the speaker’s presentation slides and develops TEKS-aligned lesson plans related to the talk. A recording of the talk is available within two weeks of the event date. All these materials are available in the Talk Archives.

 

Hot Science – Cool Talks Publications

“Expectancies and Motivations to Attend an Informal Science Lecture Series”
by N. AbiGhannam et al., in the International Journal of Science Education, 2015.

“Vice provost holds chemistry demonstration” by Nidia Cavazos, in The Daily Texan, 2014.

“Hot Science – Cool Talks series sparks interest for the whole family” by Kristi Willis, in CultureMap Austin, 2013.

“A Novel Lecture Series and Associated Outreach Program in the Environmental and Natural Sciences” by Jay Banner, Nelson Guda, Libby Stern, Brian Zavala & Jessica Gordon, in Journal of College Science Teaching, 2008.