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How to make scientific works appeal to kids? Hire a child

Posting in Education

Editing may be a professional -- and often thankless -- job, but one journal is using its target audience to make scientific work more palatable for young minds.

Frontiers for Young Minds is a journal aimed at children in order to interest them in science, research, and how our world works. Scientific research is often dry and usually unpalatable to the average kid -- let alone adult -- and so editors are working hard to engage their readers.

However, the editors are all aged between five and 18. The 18 minors, together with 38 adult authors, are working together to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Frontiers for Young Minds has a number of child-friendly articles, including "Facebook, being cool, and your brain: what science tells us," "Brain-machine interfaces: your brain in action," and "Why sleep?." In order to protect the children's identities, only their first names and ages are used in a "Reviewed by" section.

The brainchild of UC Berkeley professor Robert Knight, the publication lets the young crew of editors  approve and review submissions, which need to be written "clearly, concisely and with enthusiasm!," according to the guidelines.

Speaking to Fast Company, graduate and project assistant Ryan Morrie said:

"As a child, I really loved science programs focused on children, such as Bill Nye. The articles are reviewed by children themselves, which was a particularly appealing part of writing for the journal, as it not only exposes children to the science, but also lets them see how science is regularly reviewed and published."

Via: Fast Company

Image credit: Flickr

— By on November 19, 2013, 5:56 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure