#TeensCan: Let Teens Be Your Social Media Voice

How-to Session
Katy Noelle Scott, Monterey Bay Aquarium, USA

Published paper: #TeensCan: Let teens be your social media voice

Learn how the Monterey Bay Aquarium became the first organization of its size to develop “by teens, for teens” social media accounts. With a focus on co-creation, the Aquarium’s education and marketing departments partnered with teens to build a social media program. Teens developed their own brand, chose social media platforms, and created their own filters for posts. They’ve worked since June to build and maintain an optimistic, conservation-focused teen voice. As new teens enter the program, experienced students help train their peers. Follow their progress on Instagram @MontereyBayAqTeens, Facebook @MontereyBayAqTeens, and Snapchat @MontereyAqTeens.

Come hear from educators, teens and our evaluator about how our experience can be translated to your museum. Let teens be your social media voice!

Our program was built on a wealth of research and experience regarding conservation messaging, conservation education, and effective social media practices.

At the top of the list is Elin Kelsey's work regarding conservation messaging, much of which can be found at http://www.elinkelseyandcompany.com/hope_and_the_environment.

Research on developmentally appropriate conservation messaging also played a large role in the development of this program. Such work includes:
Ardoin, N. (2013). Influencing conservation action: What research says about environmental literacy, behavior, and conservation results. National Audubon Society.
Kudryavtsev, A., Stedman, R. C., & Krasny, M. E. (2012). Sense of place in environmental education. Environmental education research, 18(2), 229-250.
Palmer, J. A. (1993). Development of concern for the environment and formative experiences of educators. The Journal of Environmental Education, 24(3), 26-30.
Sobel, D. (1996). Beyond ecophobia: Reclaiming the heart in nature education (No. 1). Orion Society.

Although we know that teens interact through social media in large numbers, there's a dearth of information about how they interact within social media and how they present themselves differently on different platforms. Our program might contribute to that field of work.