What do we do?
Frontiers for Young Minds believes that the best way to make cutting-edge science discoveries available to younger audiences is to enable young people and scientists to work together to create articles that are both accurate and exciting.
That is why distinguished scientists are invited to write about their cutting-edge discoveries in a language that is accessible for young readers, and it is then up to the kids themselves – with the help of a science mentor – to provide feedback and explain to the authors how to best improve the articles before publication.
As a result, Frontiers for Young Minds provides a collection of freely available scientific articles by distinguished scientists that are shaped for younger audiences by the input of their own young peers. Even before the publication of our first 50 articles, the quality of Frontiers for Young Minds was recognized as one of the American Library Association’s 2014 Great Websites for Kids.
How does it work?
What can you find?
We publish articles that are either about new research on the cutting edge (New Discovery) or explain a key idea that is fundamental for understanding a scientific field (Core Concept). We are still expanding into new subject areas, but you can find articles in the following areas right now:
The desire to look up at the sky and ask questions about the universe is one that humans have shared for thousands of years. With each new technology scientists have been able to get closer and find more answers, but these new glimpses into the universe have also created even more exciting questions to ask. There are more powerful telescopes and radars on the ground and instruments traveling deeper into space than ever before. This section of Frontiers for Young Minds will include articles that provide insight into the history solar systems, galaxies, the universe, and the various bodies within them by studying the inner workings of stars, formation of galaxies, surfaces of planets, and all of the spaces and signals in between. Understanding Astronomy and Space Science wants to provide the next generation with access to the cutting-edge science that will start them asking the next great questions about our universe.
The concept of health refers to so much more than whether or not you are sick. When researchers and doctors study health, they are studying the way that the body works, how it changes over time, what can break it down, how to protect it, and how to treat problems that do occur. This section of Frontiers for Young Minds will include articles from across nutrition, fitness, disease, genetics, systems of the body, prevention, injuries, treatment and medicine, mental health, adolescence, and other changes that happen to the body as it ages. It will also include articles about the tools that are available for studying the body, measuring how it changes, preventing problems, and treating issues that do occur. By providing access to fundamental ideas and cutting-edge knowledge about health, Understanding Health wants to enable the next generation to develop a better understanding of their own bodies and make more informed decisions regarding their own futures.
So much depends on the brain. When scientists want to study how and why living creatures do what they do, the brain is one of the places that they start. The brain plays a key role in how you do the things you do, learn to do new things over time, and why there will be certain things that you will never be able to do no matter how hard you try. This section of Frontiers for Young Minds will not only include articles about the brain itself, but the way the brain changes over time, techniques we use to study the brain, how aspects of the brain relate to behavior and performance, and why the brain developed in the ways that it did. Understanding Neuroscience wants to provide a chance for the next generation to think critically about the organ that makes it possible for them to think in the first place.
We all share a common planet. We depend on the Earth both as a place to live and as a resource for many aspects of our lives. That is why facing some of our biggest challenges depends on forming a better understanding of the Earth and finding ways use its resources responsibly. Science can help us with these challenges. This section of Frontiers for Young Minds will include articles from across the fields of Earth science, energy research, marine science, climate science, and environmental science as it relates to the Earth system. Because these concepts relate to so many other disciplines - from chemistry to engineering - there will also be articles from scientists in other subject areas whose work helps to study these issues. Understanding the Earth and its Resources wants to provide the most up-to-date research to the next generation who will live with, and study, these planet-wide questions.
Who can get involved?
Frontiers for Young Minds depends on the excitement and involvement from across the spectrum of science lovers for its success – from kids and teens to young scientists and experienced researchers.
Kids and teens between the ages of 8-15 work with their classrooms or friends to provide feedback to the authors about how to make the best-possible articles for readers their own age, with the help of their Science Mentor.
Young (or young at heart) researchers with experience in the peer review process introduce their Young Reviewers to the idea of a life in science, the basics of science publishing, and encourage them to provide the authors with an honest and constructive review.
Recognized experts who build teams of Associate Editors, provide an initial check on all new submissions, and make sure that each manuscript ends up in the right hands.
Experienced researchers who build teams of Science Mentors, oversee the review process to make sure all of the Young Reviewer feedback is put into place, and keep an eye out for new discoveries that would be interesting or important for young readers.
Publishers, journals, and research societies who support the Frontiers for Young Minds mission and suggest recent articles from their publications to be turned into Young Minds versions.