Science Experiments, Kids and Research Publications

Calling all scientists, science teachers, geeks and any other interested persons perusing this article post – I need your help!

Actually, this idea has just come to my head (as these things do – blame ADHD!) and I don’t want to say too much in case this actually a viable idea BUT…

Does anyone know if there are any science publications or blogs or websites that give opportunity for children to publish research?

I’ve done a (brief) trawl of the internet and can’t find anything like that at all – LOTS of news, experiments for kids to do and so on – but no research done by the kids themselves for kids.

Why would we need anything like this, you may ask? Well…I’m not sure we do!

But I know that here at LAMB school we have recently been discussing the issue that I remember from my own childhood days of getting kids to write up experiments properly. Nothing seems to have changed. Kids hate it, science teachers (like me, these days) insist on it; the language of ‘hypotheses’ and ‘conclusions’ is difficult to fathom and when you’re all tired watching a test tube being heated and the liquid inside steadfastly refusing to change colour the way your teacher told you it was supposed to, the last thing you want to do is write it up in a way you don’t understand and (probably) lie about what happened so your ‘results’ look right!

It seems to me that if teachers could give these write-ups as projects that would lead to the best (or the whole class) contribution being submitted to a publication which would then publish them if they are suitable, you could give real motivation to kids to do experiment write-ups really well! They get to see themselves ‘in print’ plus they could then see other experiments by other kids and compare their findings and the way they did their own research. I can’t believe no one does this already!

Now, if no one is doing this (or not in a major way), I might well have a go at setting this up for myself. I have several more ideas and thoughts about this which I won’t mention now (shush…don’t tell anyone…) and I don’t think this will be something I could set up quickly so I want to do my research on this carefully. I will certainly need the help and advice of those who already do research and/or publish. I would also need the support of children’s publications to advertise whatever might come out from this. I would certainly want an international result ultimately.

So, here’s what I want from you (assuming you are still reading this and therefore, presumably, fitting into one of the categories I began with):

1) Do you know of any publications that already exist like this? If you do, please give me website, email addresses or send me a pdf. of print magazines. 

2) Assuming that you, like I, can’t find anything like this – what do you think of the idea? Comments, concerns, criticisms, suggestions – all welcome!

3) Assuming no real answers to (1) and not receiving so much negative feedback for (2) that I give up and die – Sciency guys could you send me web links and email addresses for editors of the best quality Research magazines that deal in subjects related to Chemistry, Physics and Biology. e.g. Medical publications count – they tend to be Biology and Chemistry – but Psychology magazines probably don’t. 

4) Assuming you are still reading by now – Science teachers could you give me the same as (3) but for Science publications for Kids – which ones do you use?

I would prefer to get emails on this one so I can compile information offline as well as on, but if you want to make a comment below and you don’t have time, then just add sites and email addresses there.

No promises, of course, but to those of you who help out, if this ever comes to anything (it is far from my only mad idea currently), I will make sure you get acknowledgements in any blog, website, Ezine or print publication that comes from this.

Thanks for your help!

Send emails to: Kenthinksaloud@gmail.com

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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4 Responses to Science Experiments, Kids and Research Publications

  1. La La says:

    I don’t know of any (I submit a lot of work to a number of scientific publications), but I think it’s a great idea! I could send you some when I get to work on Monday.

    Like

  2. Vanessa Hall says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea Ken!! I don’t currently know of any publications which have anything like this. A great way to inspire and enthuse kids! I’ll respond to you by e-mail with more detail when I get back to England. Sunning myself in France at the moment 🙂 Speak to you soon x

    Like

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