A commentary by CSUN Professor Emeritus of Biology Steven Oppenheimer is featured in this month’s issue of NSTA Reports, a newsletter circulating to the 50,000 members of the National Science Teaching Association. Oppenheimer, who has spent decades organizing research training for K-12 science teachers and their students, argues that the structure of conventional science fairs, which focus on selecting and recognizing a few "winners" from entire classes or school systems, prevent the majority of participating students from developing interests in science. As an alternative model, he offers his New Journal of Student Research Abstracts which publishes results of K-12 student research and provides recognition for all students who contribute and work through the review process.
"How often do hundreds of students receive university and parental recognition for science research work?" Oppenheimer’s commentary concludes. "The pride that families take in their children’s science work provides an extra push for them to choose a science career."