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Andrea Cowan's blog

Earth Day 2014: Making a positive impact on science

on Mon, 04/21/2014 - 21:17

The date for Earth Day was chosen because April 22 fell between the academic spring break and final exams. Choosing that time of year meant students would likely be available to celebrate and recognize the day. In addition to post-secondary students taking a break, April is the month when many elementary and secondary school science fairs conclude.

For me, this year’s Earth Day marks the end of a 6-month journey to a middle school science fair. Last October my 13 year-old son was tasked with conducting a scientific experiment, producing a paper and presenting the results. Working for a scientific publisher, I had grand visions of developing a young scientific writer who one day would be cited in Scopus and published on ScienceDirect. The reality was a little different. Overwhelmed by the scope of the project, my son was quick to bury the instructions in his backpack.

It became apparent to his teacher, dad and me that we had to