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CSL Call for Contributions

The editors of Connected Science Learning encourage you to submit a manuscript on any topic related to bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM learning. Although each issue is organized around a theme, your manuscript does not have to be related to a specific theme and can be of general interest to the journal's audience. In order to be considered for publication, manuscripts must adhere to the journal's submission guidelines. Connected Science Learning also features a number of columns that may be a good fit for your manuscript. Upcoming themes and column descriptions are found below.

Volume 3, Issue 1: Social Justice and STEM Education

To be published January to March 2021
Submission deadline: September 15, 2020

NSTA’s STEM20: Virtual Event, held in July 2020, included a featured session on “teaching about social justice science issues in a time of protest and pandemic.” This issue of Connected Science Learning aims to continue that conversation. STEM education can no longer ignore the fact that on a systemic scale, students of color experience a different reality: persistent achievement gaps in math and science, differences in opportunity and access to quality STEM education, and underrepresentation in STEM careers. Further, the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated how socioeconomic status and geography result in differing access to technology, compromising our ability to provide high-quality and effective STEM learning for all.

The STEM Equity Initiative reminds us that access to highly qualified educators, safe environments, excellent curriculum and pedagogy, and quality facilities and resources are important conditions for high-quality education. However, these necessary conditions don’t in and of themselves guarantee outcomes. It is also critical that all students feel a genuine sense of welcome and inclusion in STEM, believe in their own abilities, and feel empowered to succeed and take responsibility for their own learning; that they value the goals of STEM learning and STEM careers; and that they see alignment between STEM and their identity and personal experiences.

This issue of Connected Science Learning will feature articles about programs and practices that show promise for making a difference in addressing social justice in STEM education.

Volume 3, Issue 2: Coding, Computer Science, and Computational Thinking

To be published April to June 2021
Submission deadline: November 15, 2020

Careers in computer science and information technology are experiencing growth at a faster rate than jobs in other sectors. In-school and out-of-school activities incorporating robotics, drones, and coding, as well as virtual and artificial reality, are increasingly popular. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking is one of the eight NGSS science and engineering practices, and many states are beginning to systematically include computer science in K–12 education. Skills such as organizing and searching data, creating algorithms, and designing simulations are increasingly important. The national CS4All movement strives to prepare all K–12 students to “be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world.”

This issue of Connected Science Learning focuses on innovative and collaborative STEM learning experiences that engage young people in coding, computer science, and computational thinking and prepare educators to effectively lead such experiences.

Volume 3, Issue 3: Science Communication

To be published July to September 2021
Submission deadline: January 15, 2020

According to Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda, published by the National Academies Press:

"Science communication is more complex than simply translating the jargon of science into language the public understands. Its complexity stems from the diversity and interconnectedness of its many elements, including the goals for communicating, the content being conveyed, the format in which it is presented, and the individuals and organizations involved. People approach science communication from their own starting points—a combination of expectations, knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values that are in turn shaped by broader social, political, and economic influences. … Moreover, the communication landscape is changing dramatically in ways that offer unprecedented opportunities to communicate and connect with others but also pose many challenges."

Clearly, there are pros and cons as well as unintended consequences resulting from changes in how science is communicated. We learn about advances in science practically in real time—yet, this bypasses the vetting traditionally provided by the peer review process, which is designed to ensure the integrity of what is published. There’s so much available science news, from many different sources and with different agendas, that it can be difficult for even practiced scientists to evaluate and interpret. The fact that communication is also a dialogue—more than a one-way transmission of information—presents its own set of opportunities and challenges.

For this issue of Connected Science Learning, we are seeking submissions about the various ways that STEM educators are preparing young people to be sophisticated and conscientious consumers and producers of science news—and, importantly, to be able to participate in productive dialogue about science in ways that allow for listening to, learning from, and understanding others. We also encourage submissions about the efforts of scientists and engineers to communicate and engage in dialogue about STEM with young people.

Word Limit

Suggested length for feature articles is 2,000 to 4,000 words, excluding references and media/supplemental material. See separate details below regarding the word limit associated with departments in the journal.

Media Components Highly Encouraged

Being an online journal, Connected Science Learning allows for all types of media to be embedded into the articles and departments. We will give preference to articles that have such supplemental material, including videos, podcasts, links to PowerPoints and websites, and other technologies.

Ongoing Connected Science Learning Departments

Several departments are featured in Connected Science Learning. Please note that your manuscript idea might be a better fit as a department than as a feature article. Suggested word length for departments is 2,000 to 4,000 words (except for Connected Science Learning Briefs), excluding references and other media/supplemental material.

Research to Practice, Practice to Research

Articles in this department foster a research-to-practice cycle that better connects practitioners to the growing research and knowledge base about STEM learning, and researchers to the world and needs of practitioners.

Emerging Connections

Articles in this department describe new, innovative connections between out-of-school STEM programs and preK–12 classrooms that have the potential to spread beyond the initial context, such as radio and television programs that become integral elements of classroom instruction.

Diversity and Equity

Articles in this department highlight connected STEM learning efforts that are effective at increasing participation and interest in STEM by underserved groups (e.g., minorities, low socioeconomic populations, rural communities, English language learners, special needs, and talented/gifted students). Compelling articles will include documentation of success.

Connected Science Learning Briefs

These are short (suggested length is 500 words) items that highlight the lessons learned, curriculum considerations, or research results related to the readers of the journal, or are short descriptions of resources (e.g., publications, videos, websites) of use to professionals interested in connecting in-school and out-of-school STEM learning.

The Engaged Scientist

Articles in this department highlight scientists, engineers, and other science-based professionals’ efforts to enhance connected STEM learning that engages preK–16 youth in in-school and out-of-school learning experiences.


Click here to get submission guidelines, including how to create, prepare, and submit your contributions.

The editorial staff thanks you for considering Connected Science Learning as a venue for your ideas. We look forward to your contribution.

Editorial questions should go to:

Beth Murphy
Connected Science Learning, Field Editor
connectedscience@nsta.org
612-270-0194

Submission process questions should go to:

Kate Lu Sedor
Connected Science Learning, Project Editor
ksedor@nsta.org
703-231-3874

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