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Reading, Writing, and Presenting Original Scientific Research: A Nine-Week Course in Scientific Communication for High School Students

    Authors: Elizabeth S. Danka1,2,*, Brian M. Malpede1,3
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Young Scientist Program, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63110; 2: Department of Pediatrics, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63110; 3: Department of Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63110
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: 125 Mason Farm Rd., 6101 Marsico Hall, Campus Box 7290, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599. Phone: (919) 966-1060. E-mail: esdanka@email.unc.edu.
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 203-210. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.925
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    Abstract:

    High school students are not often given opportunities to communicate scientific findings to their peers, the general public, and/or people in the scientific community, and therefore they do not develop scientific communication skills. We present a nine-week course that can be used to teach high school students, who may have no previous experience, how to read and write primary scientific articles and how to discuss scientific findings with a broad audience. Various forms of this course have been taught for the past 10 years as part of an intensive summer research program for rising high school seniors that is coordinated by the Young Scientist Program at Washington University in St. Louis. The format presented here includes assessments for efficacy through both rubric-based methods and student self-assessment surveys.

References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science2011Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of ScienceJuly 15–17, 2009Washington, DC
2. Beck MR, Morgan EA, Strand SS, Woolsey TA2006Volunteers bring passion to science outreachScience3141246124710.1126/science.113191717124309 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1131917
3. Bradley IC, Danka ES2015Characterization of a UPEC degS mutant in vitro and in vivoJ Emerg Investig[Online.] http://www.emerginginvestigators.org/2015/03/upec-degs-mutant/
4. Chiappinelli KB2011The Young Scientist Program: Fostering diversity in science and public science literacyASBMB Today[Online.] http://www.asbmb.org/asbmbtoday/asbmbtoday_article.aspx?id=14604
5. Haak DC, HilleRisLambers J, Pitre E, Freeman S2011Increased structure and active learning reduce the achievement gap in introductory biologyScience3321213121410.1126/science.120482021636776 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1204820
6. Handelsman J, et al2004Scientific teachingScience30452152210.1126/science.109602215105480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1096022
7. Knox KL, Moynijan JA, Markowitz DG2003Evaluation of short-term impact of a high school summer science program on students’ perceived knowledge and skillsJ Sci Educ Technol1247147810.1023/B:JOST.0000006306.97336.c5 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:JOST.0000006306.97336.c5
8. Likert R1932A technique for the measurement of attitudesArch Psych140155
9. St. Louis Public Schools District Data Profile2009District Data Profile, St Louis Public Schools[Online] http://www.slps.org/Page/129
10. Tanner KD2013Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equityCBE Life Sci Educ12322331240063793762997
11. Trujillo G, Tanner KD2014Considering the role of affect in learning: monitoring students’ self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and science identityCBE Life Sci Educ13615245914973940464
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.925
2015-12-01
2017-09-20

Abstract:

High school students are not often given opportunities to communicate scientific findings to their peers, the general public, and/or people in the scientific community, and therefore they do not develop scientific communication skills. We present a nine-week course that can be used to teach high school students, who may have no previous experience, how to read and write primary scientific articles and how to discuss scientific findings with a broad audience. Various forms of this course have been taught for the past 10 years as part of an intensive summer research program for rising high school seniors that is coordinated by the Young Scientist Program at Washington University in St. Louis. The format presented here includes assessments for efficacy through both rubric-based methods and student self-assessment surveys.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Self-identified gender (A) and race (B) of our 2013 and 2014 student cohorts.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 203-210. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.925
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Results of presentation style assessment. Students demonstrated improvements in slide design, verbal delivery, and nonverbal delivery between their first presentation and their last presentation in class. Each student’s average score from three volunteer assessors was used to calculate a median score ( 30 students for first presentation and 27 students for last presentation). Scores are converted to percentages to account for different numerical scales in the 2013 and 2014 rubrics. The requirements for each category were unchanged.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 203-210. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.925
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Results of presentation content assessment. Students are able to create presentations that thoroughly address important background information, methods, results, and discussion sections. Each student’s average score from three volunteer assessors was used to calculate a median score ( 27 students). Scores are converted to percentages to account for different numerical scales in the 2013 and 2014 rubrics. The requirements for each category were unchanged.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 203-210. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.925
Download as Powerpoint

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