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Creating a Buzz About Community-Engaged Research

Science and Children—January/February 2024

By , , , ,

School districts across the United States are actively exploring avenues to aid elementary-aged Gifted and Talented (GT) students in conducting student-driven research, value science within their local community, develop students’ science practices and soft skill acquisition. This “Methods and Strategies” describes how a district-wide program integrated novel emerging technologies to improve elementary GT students’ abilities to research a topic of their own interest, in conjunction with a science professional within their community related to that topic, and present their findings at a public symposium. We discuss how use of emerging technologies afforded students a new way to access scientific content via 3D visualization and provided a virtual platform to present their ideas. We share a case of GT students who researched and presented on local bee conservation. Guided by Science and Engineering Practices (grades 3-5) and emerging technologies, participating students developed strategies to conserve bees and presented their findings to members of the local scientist and lay communities. We provide a rubric to support formative assessment of students’ science practices and soft skills during a symposium event for generative feedback. We provide guidance for other community-science and GT programs to enhance students’ research and presentation experiences through emerging technology integration.

Citizen Science Pedagogy Research Teaching Strategies Elementary

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