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 3: Science Communication
To be published May to June 2021
Submission deadline: February 15, 2021
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.
Volume 3, Issue 4: Enacting the Nation's STEM Strategic Plan
To be published July to August 2021
Submission deadline: April 15, 2021
Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education provides a “north star for the STEM community as it charts a course for collective success.” This issue of Connected Science Learning explores the many ways that STEM educators and the organizations for which they work are engaged in efforts to achieve the goals laid out in this plan. We are particularly interested in publishing articles that address:
- Preparing a diverse talent pool to make scientific discoveries and create technologies in a rapidly evolving workplace;
- Ensuring a STEM-literate public, equipped for rapid technological change and empowered to participate in civil society; and
- Providing everyone with lifelong access to high-quality STEM education.
We are especially interested in submissions that are using the Plan’s “Pathways to Success” to pursue these goals, for example by:
- Cultivating connections between educational entities and communities, including through employer partnerships, STEM ecosystem initiatives, and blending practices from across the learning landscape, and
- Teaching STEM in ways that makes learning meaningful and inspiring, including efforts that focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and encourage transdisciplinary learning.
Volume 3, Issue 5: Equity and Connection in STEM Learning Ecosystems
To be published September to October 2021
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2021
STEM learning happens across time and place in both organized and self-directed ways—for example, in school, in afterschool and summer programs, in museums and nature centers, at home, and in the outdoors. Recognizing this reality as a STEM ecosystem provides us with a way to understand how learners navigate a dynamic and living network of learning settings, contexts, influences, and experiences over time.
Topics of interest include examples of connected STEM learning experiences and related evaluation or research that highlight:
- Thriving STEM learning ecosystems, including the characteristics, values, and cultural practices that define them and lead to their success.
- Authentic collaboration and co-creation between STEM education stakeholders, practitioners, and participants.
- STEM ecosystem efforts that inspire justice and equity in STEM education, and the conditions and practices that make this happen.
- Case studies demonstrating what STEM ecosystems look like from both learner and provider perspectives.
- How localized STEM ecosystems can learn from and support each other, iterating on knowledge and cultural practices from ecosystem to ecosystem.
Volume 3, Issue 6: Youth and Communities Taking Action Through STEM
To be published November to December 2021
Submission Deadline: July 15, 2021
How can we empower young people to use STEM to make a difference in their communities and change the world? How can STEM education provide a foundation for activism and community leadership?
Submissions under this theme may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Empowering youth voice and agency to influence and inform STEM-related legislation, policy, and other civic action
- Youth engagement in research projects, citizen science, and service learning that addresses real community issues
- STEM as a catalyst for empowering youth to organize for social change
- STEM-inspired and youth-led social media and communication campaigns
- The intersections of social responsibility and ethics with STEM
Volume 4, Issue 1: (Re)connecting the STEM Learning Ecosystem: Lessons From the Pandemic
To be published January to February 2022
Submission Deadline: September 15, 2021
The pandemic has required us to connect in new ways, including how we engage in learning. Some have argued that we should not seek a ‘return to normal’ but rather a ‘hard reset.’ What have we learned through the pandemic? What should be regained, continued, or left behind? What will STEM learning look like in a post-pandemic world?
Submission ideas include connected STEM learning efforts that explore one or more of the following questions:
- In what lasting ways have roles and responsibilities for supporting STEM learning shifted during the pandemic?
- How have specific communities been differentially impacted in regard to STEM learning opportunities during the pandemic and why? What have we learned from this that can help us build greater equity moving forward?
- What can STEM educators learn from stories of resilience, empowerment, and transformation during the pandemic?
- What resources (programs, sectors, ways of knowing, people, structures, etc.) can support recovery from the pandemic and increase equity and health of the STEM learning ecosystem long-term?
- Many traditionally in-person, on-site learning experiences have pivoted to online learning during the pandemic. What are the successes, lessons learned, limitations, and challenges that will inform the future?
- How has the pandemic shaped our understanding of the importance of and our commitment to fostering science learning for everyone?
- What have we learned about designing learning experiences (virtual, blended, etc.) and leveraging learning opportunities during the pandemic? How has learning changed in these new contexts?
- How do we restore connections between people and spaces as well as establish new ones that foster equitable engagement in STEM learning?
Volume 4, Issue 2: Preparing and Supporting STEM Educators in Informal and Formal Settings
To be published March to April 2022
Submission Deadline: November 15, 2021
Our worldview of what STEM education means, how it is delivered, and where it takes place has changed. How can we prepare the next generation of STEM educators in formal and informal settings to lead in interconnected ways that ensure all learners thrive? How can we support the professional growth of STEM educators in both in- and out-of-school settings and throughout all stages of their careers (e.g., preservice, mid-career, senior leadership)?
Possible areas of focus for submissions include:
- Transdisciplinary STEM learning, blurring of disciplinary boundaries, and fostering a culture of convergence
- Integration of formal-informal teaching and learning practices (e.g., project-based and place-based approaches, intergenerational learning)
- Creating effective formal-informal institutional partnerships for professional learning
- Models and paradigms that work in both formal and informal professional learning
- Adapting professional learning approaches for virtual and in-person settings
- Professional learning to sustain institutional knowledge and expertise through staff turnover and transition
Volume 4, Issue 3: STEM Engagement: The Power of Families and Communities
To be published May to June 2022
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2022
Traditionally, STEM learning has been relegated to work in schools and other educational institutions, primarily focusing on children and the role of educators in this process. However, the diverse network of significant adults in a young person’s world—parents and other family members, guardians and caregivers, friends, neighbors, local scientists and engineers, role models and mentors, and others—play an important role in supporting STEM access, opportunity, participation, and learning. Family members and other adults can engage in a variety of ways; for example: as facilitators, collaborators, contributors, advisors, and learners.
Submissions for this issue theme will focus on one or more of the following:
- How STEM education providers build authentic and purposeful connections with family and community members
- What the formal and informal sectors can learn from each other regarding fostering relationships with family and community, and what both sectors can learn from youth and their networks of significant adults
- Ways to capitalize on the STEM assets and funds of knowledge within families and communities
- Successful models for collaboration, especially with communities that have historically been marginalized or overlooked by STEM education institutions and programs
- The goals that families and communities have for STEM education and how they can participate in achieving these goals
- Indicators of success for family and community engagement in STEM learning, and how we might measure them
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
Connected Science Learning publishes both full-length articles (approximately 2,000-4,000 words) and Briefs (approximately 500 words). Word counts are exclusive of references, figure captions, and other media/supplemental materials. Full-length articles are published under one of the departments listed below or in a more general Feature department.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.