Curious Science Writers (cSw) – curioussciencewriters.org – is a training program for high school students with a passion for science who love to write. Created to “advance the art of science communication,” cSw is an innovative, extracurricular program that prepares highly motivated high school communicators to bring complex biomedical science to the general public through the power of story. Founded in 2010 by Jayne Mackta, past president of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research, cSw is now hosted by Americans for Medical Progress.
The 2020 program will consist of a 5-day boot camp followed by one month of story development by participating student writers mentored by professional science communicators. Stories will be edited and published during the 2020-2021 academic year. Students will be required to attend a meeting with the editorial team and provide requested edits to their article during an assigned month between September and June. The program includes faculty and guest speakers who are professional science writers and science communicators.
Who should apply?
Curious & creative high school students. Preference to those currently in grade 10 or 11.
How many positions are available?
cSw will accept up to 20 writers, 2 editors, 2 graphic designers and 2 social media coordinators for training during the summer of 2020. Read the cSw Position Descriptions here.
- Application Period: February 1 – April 1
- Boot Camp: July 13-17, 2020: Daily program from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. in DC/MD area. Lunch and snacks provided.
- Story Development: July 18, 2020 to on or before August 31, 2020 Working with a professional Communications Mentor, each writer will produce a carefully researched, clear and compelling biomedical science story for a general audience. Interaction is online; preferred means of communicating (email, skype, telephone, etc.) will be agreed upon by writer/mentor.
- Story Editing and Publishing: September – June 2020 Editing and publishing will happen during the 2020-2021 academic year. Each student writer will be required to attend one meeting with the editorial team via web/call and provide edits as requested before the story is published.
Notification of acceptance will be emailed to the student applicant on or before April 1st. Candidates are accepted on a rolling admission basis. Applications will be closed when all slots are filled.
$550 before April 15th. Regular registration is $650 due by May 15th. Scholarships are available. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on scholarships.
Boot Camp Objectives
- To provide foundational skills needed to produce clear & compelling science stories
- To model the real-world science communications experience
- To expose participants to career opportunities in science communications
Staffed by professional communicators with expertise in science writing, the cSw Boot Camp will offer up to 26 select students an intensive short course in producing clear and compelling science stories for a public audience.
Students will interview a content expert relevant to the biomedical science story they are researching and writing and be paired with a mentor actively working in the field. The month following the day camp will involve writer/mentor interaction while students write their stories. Stories are then sent to the cSw Editorial Team. This experienced student team, which includes a Chief Editor, Creative Team Manager, and Social Media Manager, will work with new student editors, graphic designers, social media coordinators and writers to polish, publish and promote stories throughout the 2020/21 academic year. https://www.facebook.com/curiousSCIENCEwriters/.
What is the profile of the ideal cSw Candidate?
- Curious, creative and committed to Advancing the Art of Science Communication
- Open to constructive feedback; prepared to revise stories and rework graphics
- Self-motivated and self-disciplined but a team player
- Not afraid to ask questions regarding roles and responsibilities
- Organized and able to meet deadlines
- Passionate, expressive, and open to learning new ideas and skills
Ready to apply? The application portal will open on or before February 1, 2020. Please check back or email the cSw Program Coordinator at email@example.com.