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Thursday, September 2nd - 09:00 AM To 09:30 AM
Science journalism training and workshops are common among college-age students and adults but less so among middle school age children. Because of this we conceived and delivered a series of workshops to teach basic principles and techniques relating to science journalism to middle school children who would like to cover any topics of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Between mid-April until early June 2021, we delivered a series of workshops on science journalism to children aged 12 to 15 enrolled in five different schools in Doha, Qatar. The activities included several sessions with scientists and engineers from a variety of specialities. These children used the training they received to produce science news articles of 150-to-700-words length. This project culminated in the publication of a newspaper supplement inserted in the Gulf Times, with the best stories written and produced by the young adults. This talk recounts our experience conceiving, organizing, and delivering the workshops and sessions with scientists. Based on semi-structured interviews and participatory observation, we drew lessons about best practices around how to enhance STEM awareness and engagement by improving media literacy skills. We would like to share our lessons learned and hope that similar project can be replicated elsewhere since we believe introducing to science journalism to students at a young age would spark interests in science, journalism, or in science journalism. The project was supported by the Qatar National Research Fund and SIEMENS and coordinated by Northwestern University in Qatar.