Children have always been in mind during the process of selecting themes, writing texts and preparing illustrations to Ciência Hoje das Crianças (CHC), a 28 year-old Brazilian science communication magazine: kids are our target-public and our goal is to prepare something they will really enjoy.

After years interacting with children in letters to the editor and special events where CHC’s team was invited to chat with the audience, we were always amazed by how creative and propositional our readers are. Last year (2013) we decided to start engaging them in a new editorial board, in order to participate in all phases of our working process. We established a pilot project in partnership with a local school. Students from 5th and 6th grades were invited to take part of the board and participate in three phases of the working plan.

The first one was to evaluate already published editions of the CHC and stories from our website, CHC Online. In collaboration with the school’s teachers, we prepared a questionnaire regarding visual and content aspects of the publications.  Second step was to evaluate articles before they are published, so we could modify them based on children’s suggestions. The third step was to collect theme suggestions from the children.

With this project we expect to engage readers in all phases of our work process, empowering them to deal with journalistic tasks and to create their own science communication initiatives. 

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Readers to the task
Engaging children in science communication

Catarina Chagas   Instituto Ciência Hoje

Children have always been in mind during the process of selecting themes, writing texts and preparing illustrations to Ciência Hoje das Crianças (CHC), a 28 year-old Brazilian science communication magazine: kids are our target-public and our goal is to prepare something they will really enjoy.

After years interacting with children in letters to the editor and special events where CHC’s team was invited to chat with the audience, we were always amazed by how creative and propositional our readers are. Last year (2013) we decided to start engaging them in a new editorial board, in order to participate in all phases of our working process. We established a pilot project in partnership with a local school. Students from 5th and 6th grades were invited to take part of the board and participate in three phases of the working plan.

The first one was to evaluate already published editions of the CHC and stories from our website, CHC Online. In collaboration with the school’s teachers, we prepared a questionnaire regarding visual and content aspects of the publications.  Second step was to evaluate articles before they are published, so we could modify them based on children’s suggestions. The third step was to collect theme suggestions from the children.

With this project we expect to engage readers in all phases of our work process, empowering them to deal with journalistic tasks and to create their own science communication initiatives. 

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