Children’s and young people’s representations of science may be important dimensions of analysis for studies on public understanding of science.Some images and attitudes about science and scientists seem to form quite  early and to be relatively stable during the life, so  that studying children’s perception means also studying part of the cultural representations of science and technology. We propose here a qualitative analysis of drawings and tales by 8 and 9 years old Italian children, produced in the context of focus groups activities and by reformulating in a novel way the traditional “Draw-a-scientist-test” (DAST).  Mythical images, representations of scientists in action, space, time and social dimensions of scientific practice, as well as gender difference in children stories and drawings are discussed, revealing intriguing levels of complexity.

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Children’s perceptions of science and scientists a case study based on drawings and story-telling

Federica Manzoli   Innovationsin the Communication of Science(ICS) ,Science and Society Sector

Yurij Castelfranchi   International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy

Daniele Gouthier   Ipsia “ Edmondo De Amicis ” , Rome, Italy

Irene Cannata   Ipsia “ Edmondo De Amicis ” , Rome, Italy

Children’s and young people’s representations of science may be important dimensions of analysis for studies on public understanding of science.Some images and attitudes about science and scientists seem to form quite  early and to be relatively stable during the life, so  that studying children’s perception means also studying part of the cultural representations of science and technology. We propose here a qualitative analysis of drawings and tales by 8 and 9 years old Italian children, produced in the context of focus groups activities and by reformulating in a novel way the traditional “Draw-a-scientist-test” (DAST).  Mythical images, representations of scientists in action, space, time and social dimensions of scientific practice, as well as gender difference in children stories and drawings are discussed, revealing intriguing levels of complexity.

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