A Multidisciplinary Scientific Outreach Journal Designed for and Made by Middle and High School Students to Bring Research Closer to the Classroom
One mission of a researcher is to share their work and results with the general public but there is a real challenge in accurately and effectively sharing scientific results with a broad audience. Indeed, they are published in scientific journals that are mostly available at high costs; the vocabulary used makes it hard for people outside of the field to understand the concepts; and sometimes there is a language barrier for non-English speakers. However, to make informed decisions on a variety of scientific and societal topics, citizens need to have access to and keep up with these research results. To build critical thinking, this good practice should be developed from an early age. This paper describes the journal DECODER (French for “to decode”, journal-decoder.fr), which enables a researcher and a class to work together on their own shortened research article. The middle and high school students can have the role of active reviewers on the researcher’s shortened article or they can write an outreach article on a given topic in which the researcher is a specialist. Articles are then published under a creative commons license and are freely available on the journal website to benefit a majority. Our partner researchers work in space agencies, in academia, or in industry, in a variety of disciplines. The emphasis is set on multidisciplinarity to raise students’ awareness about research wideness and show them that research is not limited to STEM fields but also exists in economics and humanities. This points out the significance and ubiquity of transdisciplinarity in solving real world’s problems, especially for space exploration. In its first year and a half, the journal has already involved more than ten classes in five different schools and 18 articles have been submitted by ten researchers.