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Communication

From science fair to published paper

The Canadian Science Fair Journal, created two years ago by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada, has published more than 50 scientific articles written by authors under the age of 18. The papers share the results of winning projects at science fairs, which include the production of bioplastics and environmentally friendly fertilizers. “We want to give students a chance to develop their skills early on to become better scientists,” sociologist Rhiannon Ng, one of the editors of the publication, told the journal Nature Index. The idea is to encourage students to develop their writing skills, to help them in the transition between high school and higher education. The journal’s website offers a free scientific writing manual for students and teaching material on various topics for elementary and high school teachers. The submission of papers, for now, is restricted to Canadian students. The peer review process functions as a kind of mentoring program. Papers submitted are analyzed by undergraduate or graduate students familiar with the topic in question. The author and the editor work collaboratively until the article is ready for publication. Several papers are inspired by the authors’ personal experiences. One, for example, described the use of colored text overlays that help students with dyslexia to read—the project lead, Kalie Bennett, is dyslexic.

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