Nanotechnology. Blue-green algae. Stem cell research. These are just a few of the important science topics studied by researchers at UW-Madison and written about by student reporters in the epistemic game Science.net, in which middle school students role play as science reporters working for an online science newspaper.
Combining the excitement of scientific discovery with the thrill of publishing their own work to inform the public, young people in science.net work as reporters publishing a weekly online science newspaper. During the game, they work with professional journalists, learning skills like interviewing and copyediting. And they use these skills right away, working on and publishing stories about breaking scientific issues that matter to themselves and to their community.
Science.net is our latest and most complete Journalism.net game. This game has been played twice by Madison-area middle school students during the summers of 2005 and 2006. While playing this series of 45-hour games, players met with professional journalists, worked at each of three desks (Environment, Health, and Technology), researching stories around current science topics, interviewing UW-Madison scientists, and producing three complete sections of the Science.net newsmagazine.