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ERIC Number: EJ1156368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
From Students to Scientists
Ho-Shing, Olivia
American Educator, v41 n3 p16-19 Fall 2017
In his book "Letters to a Young Scientist," renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson recounted his own coming-of-age story as a scientist, and distilled the motivating qualities of science down to curiosity and creativity. Individuals become scientists when they are curious about a phenomenon in the world around them and ask about the real nature of that phenomenon: What are its origins, its causes, or its consequences? Scientists then employ some creativity to answer their questions through a systematic testing of hypotheses (the scientific method), and form some conclusion based on their findings. Wilson described the broad field of science as a "culture of illuminations dedicated to the most effective way ever conceived of acquiring factual knowledge." His description points to another critical aspect in becoming a scientist: not only acquiring some knowledge but contributing that knowledge to a shared culture and community. Scientists engage with others in their field through collaborations, presentations, and publication, thereby strengthening their own findings and assessing information within a broader context of knowledge. While public school students should receive more resources and guidance to do science in schools, motivated students have typically had very limited avenues to experience being a scientist--that is, by sharing their research with the larger scientific community. "The Journal of Emerging Investigators" ("JEI") was established to address this challenge. A nonprofit online science publication exclusively for middle and high school students, "JEI" (www. gives students an opportunity to submit original research, receive feedback on their work from expert scientists, and have their work published.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A