The joy of results (and thank you conference deadlines for making us analyze data) #research #science #littlethings #ftw

Today was a joyous day … after a painful realization that failing to unhide rows in Excel and failing to uncheck the box in SPSS to ignore hidden cells meant I had run data on only 2 of 85 participants in one of my groups. Once I got that fixed, reset all the SPSS variable types to numeric despite changing the data in Excel to numbers, AND renamed all the SPSS labels (not just variable names), I finally hit the magic OK button and had interesting results! Hooray! This is the way real science research works, folks …

This wrapped up a nice day of revising a paper based on reviewer comments and several student meetings that got other projects kicked off or also found interesting data and minimal email hassles.


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Free-choice learning/informal education journals #sciengage #infscience #scicom #scicomm

Here’s a sometimes-updated list of journals I use for Free-choice learning and informal (science) education. AKA nonformal education (See my article Stofer, 2015 for more info on these terms) in the Cooperative Extension world. Please share and/or comment with suggestions!

Public Understanding of Science

International Journal of Science Education, Part B

Science communication:

Science Communication

Journal of Science Communication


Visitor Studies

Science Museum Journal

Museums and Social Issues


Journal of Museum Education

Broad Science Education:

Science Education

Journal of Research on Science Teaching

Education Science

STEM Education/research/outreach:

Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research

Journal of Research in STEM Education

Journal of STEM Outreach

Connected Science Learning (connects “formal” and “informal” settings)


Afterschool Matters


National Science Teachers Association: Journals for teaching Children, Middle School, High School, and College Students

Science Educator

The Ag Ed Magazine

Agricultural Education and Extension:

Journal of Agricultural Education

Journal of Human Sciences and Extension

Community Engagement (also see this document):

Journal of Higher Education and Outreach

Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

International Journal for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement

Environmental Education:

Journal of Environmental Education

International Journal of Environmental and Science Education

Environmental Education Research

Environment and Behavior

Experiential Education:

Journal of Experiential Education

Inspired by these lists of Science Education Journals:


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GEO students visit UF labs

geo2017labvisitsOver the past few weeks, the Geoscience Engagement and Outreach (GEO) students from Santa Fe College have been visiting the labs of the UF mentors in preparation for selecting which mentors they want to work with. We tried this method this year after last year selecting students for research groups based on their interests expressed in their applications. The students, who started the program in January 2017, will start on their research with one of three mentors this week: me (far right, denim jacket), on geoscience education research; Cori Matyas (orange jacket), on hurricane research; or Jasmeet Judge (front row, jeans and white blouse), on soil hydrology. The program runs through the school year and summer, when students will work at the Orlando Science Center as interns, sharing the research work they’ve been doing with their audiences. Funded by the National Science Foundation as part of their Improving Undergraduate STEM Education – GEOPATHS program. 

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On Vera Rubin and the idea of needing permission to do science

A friend just forwarded me the link to the obituary for Vera Rubin by NPR. She faced gender discrimination in her career as an astronomer but also became a trailblazer for women, eventually making a groundbreaking confirmation of the existence of dark matter.

In reading the obit, I found a couple of compelling points. First, that she championed science literacy (much as I hate that term), particularly among elected officials. Second, she reiterated the importance of role models for imagining future careers, saying, “”I didn’t know a single astronomer, male or female … I didn’t think that all astronomers were male, because I didn’t know [what an astronomer was].”

Finally, most strikingly, she wrote about her three assumptions that she lives by in her book Bright Galaxies, Dark Matters, in thinking about whether women can do science and do it successfully. However, in particular in the third principle she starts out with “we all need permission to do science.” That just about floored me, but upon reflection, I feel that’s a really smart encapsulation of what is enacted in weed-out courses and more broadly, in precollege (and even some college and grad school) science education.

This is especially true of the jargon science uses. If you don’t grasp the lingo, and don’t learn the vocabulary through memorization as you’re often expected to do in school, you can’t join the club and “do science” – you won’t “gain permission”. To me, it was never an issue – I naturally was good at memorizing science, so I got permission early on. So I’ve rarely had to think about having permission at least to speak science.

It’s one more hurdle many people who want to do science have to jump – and for people of color and women who start out behind, maybe that’s what keeps them from starting to jump in the first place. That’s one of my major goals – to get rid of the language barrier, at least – so that science is no longer something people feel they need permission to speak about. Thinking about it in this way helps me look at the problem differently (and actually makes the term science literacy even more problematic). So thank you, once again, to Vera, pioneer in so many ways.

#equity #citizenscience #nojargon #youreinvited

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This reporter gets it!

This article in the Gainesville Sun today really captures the essence of the public engagement I’m trying to do. It was really exciting to have the reporter spend so much time covering this. Thanks again to our sponsors COSEE-Florida (a National Science Foundation program) and UF/IFAS for all their support in getting this off the ground. And thanks to our venues for having us all the time. Look for the program again in early 2017. Watch for us at and

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#Hurricanematthew recovery resources f @UF_IFAS @ablindsey @EDENTweets

UF/IFAS Extension and other coastal partners and the Extension Disaster Education Network compiled a list of resources to help hurricane recovery efforts:

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My conversation with @ndbob about #citizenscience in #cooperativeextension

Bob Bertsch just had me on his program Working Differently in Extension this past Monday. I talked about what I found out through my time as a Citizen Science fellow for Check out the recordings (with or without video), as well as Bob’s show notes and links to his other interviews here:

YouTube –

SoundCloud –

Show Notes –

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