High School Students Chat with Scientists on Twitter.

All scientists, science writers, high school students, and their teachers are invited to participate.

#scistuchat is a Twitter chat between scientists and high school students every second Thursday of the month. The idea of connecting students with scientists started in the summer of 2011. While looking at a Nature magazine I discovered that there were scientists on Twitter http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110620/full/474431a.html. I was shocked to find scientists were on twitter tweeting about science research. As a science teacher I am constantly looking for ways to engage students with real content and professionals.

After searching different sites for lists of scientist on Twitter, I had my students follow different scientists. Some scientists responded to student questions. Those scientist were invited to a science Twitter chat with students. Because of time constraints and normal stresses of the year we didn’t have our first chat till January.

Both students and scientists seem to enjoy themselves so I decided to make it a monthly event. At about that same time Rebecca Taylor (@RebeccaTaylor21), a teacher from Indiana, joined the discussion and brought her students as well. We finished the school year with discussions about cloning, funding for NASA, Evolution as well as animal rights.

Our first discussion of the new school year was on September 13th. We talked about sharks and shark misconceptions. We were fortunate to have a few marine biologists and shark scientist join us and answer student questions. Students learned sharks can get cancer and some species will cannibalize each other pre-birth. For the month of October we will talk about insect, insect misconceptions, and insects as food.

All scientist and science writers are invited to attend and participate. We hope more high school science teachers and their students will also join us. Anyone is invited to lurk during discussions and watch the interactions using the hashtag #scistuchat. If you are interested in seeing an archive of the previous chats you can visit our site www.sg.sg/scistuchat1.

For those who did not know twitter actually has social value, you may be surprised to learn twitter an incredibly powerful professional development tool for educators. Educators who have embraced Twitter have found a quick way to receive feedback and share ideas with other educators from around the would. To investigate some of the sharing by educators on Twitter, check out hashtag #edchat.

Twitter basics.  Twitter is similar to facebook, in that when two people follow (friend) each other they can see each others posts. The main difference is you don’t need permission to follow someone. Posts or updates are limited to 140 characters (microblogging). A hashtag is a digital tag included in the tweet. A hashtag is made by typing “#” in front of any set of letters or numbers. You may find particular hashtags by typing the hashtag in the Twitter search bar. A login is not required to see what is happening on Twitter. Go to http://twitter.com/i/#!/search and type in any hashtag and you will be able to see all the tweets people have posted using the particular hashtag. “Chats” have a designated hashtag and are set for a specific time frame. Participants will search the hashtag and include the hashtag in all their posts. This allows participants to see other’s post on a particular topic even if they do not follow each other.

The experience with scientists and students have been awesome! For more ways to use Twitter with high school students check out https://2footgiraffe.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/141/


Adam Taylor

P.S. A student and I have been invited to #scio13. Hope to see you there.

About 2footgiraffe

High School Science Teacher Dickson, TN
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10 Responses to High School Students Chat with Scientists on Twitter.

  1. bknrd5974 says:

    I am forwarding this post to the Science teachers at my school! Thanks for putting these great sessions together!

    • 2footgiraffe says:

      Awesome. Glad you liked it! I would be thrilled to get more science educators and their students involved. Our last one till the fall is May 10th. Topic has not been decided yet.

  2. Hi, I will be working with high school teachers in Wisconsin, leading a workshop on Science and Social Media. I would like to share your experiences with them. Do you mind?

  3. Denise Wright says:

    Great idea, I did the same thing via hangouts for my online students, check it out , I felt like I was with a movie star…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGNEkakZLKA

  4. Emily Koehler says:

    Hey! Are you still holding these chats? I’m really trying to get my students into using twitter for school! Also, I’m looking for ideas of people for my students to follow. Any suggestions to get started?

    • 2footgiraffe says:

      Yes, we take a break in the summer. We start again in September. What do you teach. Your name is familiar.
      Anyway we would love to have you and your students join us.
      Otherwise, here is a simple site I made to help get teachers started. bit.ly/taylor-iste

      • Emily Koehler says:

        I’m sorry, for some reason I never saw your response until now!! I teach HS science. If possible, I’d love to get my students involved! I’ll check out the website. Do you know when your next one will be? Maybe I will lurk! Thanks!

      • 2footgiraffe says:

        Our next discussion is Jan 9th about the Human Brain. Would love to have you join us.

    • 2footgiraffe says:

      Emily, my brain has issues, Did I ever respond?

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