NSTA Connected Science Learning Call: STEM Learning Through Citizen Science Experiences

NSTA Connected Science Learning Call: STEM Learning Through Citizen Science Experiences


NSTA's journal, "Connected Science Learning"  seeks contributions for its Sixth Issue (to be published in spring 2018): STEM Learning Through Citizen Science Experiences

Contributions are due September 15, 2017

The Citizen Science Association states that the Oxford English Dictionary defines citizen science as "scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions." The benefit to the scientist is obvious: These projects allow for the collection of a vast amount of data, often worldwide, that would be too difficult or expensive to gather if done by a limited number of paid researchers. The most effective citizen science projects, however, not only benefit the scientists and the advancement of scientific knowledge, but also have a major impact on the citizen scientists.

SciStarter, an effort of Arizona State University, nicely identifies the STEM learning impacts that quality citizen science projects should have on the volunteer citizen scientists:

  • Enable and encourage people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts.
  • Inspire greater appreciation and promote a better understanding of science and technology among the general public.
  • Create a shared space where scientists can talk with citizens interested in working on or learning about their research projects.
  • Satisfy the popular urge to tinker, build, and explore by making it simple and fun for people—singles, parents, grandparents, kids—to jump in and get their hands dirty with science.

This increased public participation in scientific research will ideally cultivate a citizenry that is knowledgeable about the scientific enterprise. Citizen science encourages people to take a stake in the world around them. As a result, the hope is that this informed public will play a valuable role in influencing larger decisions about science policy.

The goal of Connected Science Learning's sixth issue is to highlight programs and research that demonstrate the impact on citizen scientists by citizen science programs that bridge in-school and out-of-school learning settings (e.g., home, museums, natural settings, media).

Word Limit

Suggested length for feature articles is 2,000 to 4,000 words, excluding references and media/supplemental material. See separate details below regarding the word limit associated with departments in the journal.

Media Components Highly Encouraged

Being an online journal, Connected Science Learning allows for all types of media to be embedded into the articles and departments. We will give preference to articles that have such supplemental material, including videos, podcasts, links to PowerPoints and websites, and other technologies.

Ongoing Connected Science Learning Departments

Several departments are featured in Connected Science Learning. Please note that your manuscript idea might be a better fit as a department than as a feature article. Suggested word length for departments is 2,000 to 4,000 words (except for Connected Science Learning Briefs), excluding references and other media/supplemental material.

Research to Practice, Practice to Research

Articles in this department foster a research-to-practice cycle that better connects practitioners to the growing research and knowledge base about STEM learning, and researchers to the world and needs of practitioners.

Emerging Connections

Articles in this department describe new, innovative connections between out-of-school STEM programs and preK–12 classrooms that have the potential to spread beyond the initial context, such as radio and television programs that become integral elements of classroom instruction.

Diversity and Equity

Articles in this department highlight connected STEM learning efforts that are effective at increasing participation and interest in STEM by underserved groups (e.g., minorities, low socioeconomic populations, rural communities, English language learners, special needs, and talented/gifted students). Compelling articles will include documentation of success.

Connected Science Learning Briefs

These are short (suggested length is 500 words) items that highlight the lessons learned, curriculum considerations, or research results related to the readers of the journal, or are short descriptions of resources (e.g., publications, videos, websites) of use to professionals interested in connecting in-school and out-of-school STEM learning.

For more information, view the call on the NSTA website: http://www.nsta.org/publications/csl/call.aspx