Eye on Science: New Journal Reaches Out to High School Students

Eye on Science: A Student Journal in Science and Technology is the latest University of Toronto Press publication to hit the shelves in recent months. The journal is designed to provide students from grades 7 to 12 with an opportunity to communicate their school-based science and technology experiences with other students across the province of Ontario and perhaps even the country, as well as an opportunity to test their writing skills and their artwork. So if you know of a teenager with a passion for science and technology, a subscription to this journal might just be the last-minute stocking stuffer you were looking for this Christmas.

The editors, Toronto science teachers Maurice Di Giuseppe and Isha DeCoito, came up with the idea for a science journal written by students, for students. Recognizing a void in the available science literature, Di Giuseppe and DeCoito wanted students to not only have the chance to publish their school science projects, individual investigations, and ideas, but to also learn about the process of publishing scientific papers. The journal follows the same procedures as most other scientific journals, with a call for papers as well as peer review and editorial selection processes.

"The whole big thrust of Eye on Science is to motivate students to explore science and technology and to help them realize that they can do science at any age," says DeCoito. She also hopes that the journal will help to set a benchmark for science projects in Canadian schools, and that "teachers will use many of the published projects as examples of exemplary practice" to encourage students to strive for their "best work." It's all about getting students comfortable with expressing themselves, she adds, before they reach the daunting environment of a college or university.

The glossy inaugural issue of Eye on Science was distributed to every school and school board in the province of Ontario in November and has so far attracted a lot of attention from readers. DeCoito says that manuscripts are already flooding her office for the future issues and teachers have been responding with great enthusiasm. Works in the first issue range from original science projects such as designing a simulation-based DNA computer that models the runs-per-inning distribution of baseball teams, to opinions on the use of medicinal marijuana and the Kyoto Protocol, original science fiction stories, and poetry. The journal even offers practical advice on writing styles, such as how to prepare a lab report or composing a bibliography. Eye on Science is off to a great start and appears to be meeting its goals of providing students with a creative outlet in addition to an academically enhancing experience.

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