Award Winners

2016

Children's Science News

Gold

“What Really Causes Cavities?” - 25 Jan. 2016

“See Microbes with this DIY Microscope” - 4 Jan. 2016

Three Surprising Questions About Periods” - 10 Feb. 2016

Gross Science from NOVA

 

Anna Rothschild engaged her early adolescent viewers with a series of brightly written pieces about the microbial culprits behind cavities, a clever homemade microscope that can be used to view the denizens of pond scum, and a frank and informative discussion of menstrual periods. “Funny, compelling, intriguingly gross and hugely informative—the videos written, edited, animated and narrated by the multi-talented Anna Rothschild do a marvelous job of conveying science in a form that is kid-friendly and likely to stick in young brains,” said Claudia Wallis, managing editor of...Read more

Silver

“The shocking electric eel!” - 2 June 2016

Science News for Students

 

From its opening paragraphs about a zoologist’s unwise affection for a pet eel named “Sparky,” to its description of an eel’s use of electrical pulses to trick its prey into revealing their location, Roberta Kwok’s story on electric eels offered a fascinating glimpse into the behavior of these underwater predators capable of demolishing an entire school of fish. Philip Stoddard, the Florida International University zoologist who attempted to pet Sparky, was immediately zapped with about 500 volts of electricity, roughly four times the jolt he would have received from a...Read more

2015

Children's Science News

Gold

"Where will lightning strike?" - 16 Sept. 2014

Science News for Students (online site)

 

Stephen Ornes told his youthful readers about the natural events that unfold in clouds to produce the visible bolts and roaring thunder that produce one of nature's most dazzling displays — and also one of its most dangerous. Starting with a harrowing story about hikers caught in a thunderstorm atop a mountain in California's Sequoia National Park, Ornes describes what scientists have learned about the behavior of lightning and what they are still struggling to understand. That includes exactly how a bolt is triggered and how to predict where it might connect with the ground...Read more

Silver

"Science Trek: Bats - White Nose Syndrome" - 16 Sept. 2014

Idaho Public Television

 

Joan Cartan-Hansen showed scientists at work in an underground chamber at an old power plant in Idaho, swabbing the forearms and noses of hibernating bats in search of evidence for a deadly fungus that has been killing millions of bats across the nation. Cartan-Hansen described the importance of the research in determining whether the outbreak of white nose syndrome had reached southwestern Idaho (there was no evidence of it in the power plant building), and she noted that humans can spread the disease by transporting the fungus on their shoes and clothing from caves...Read more

2014

Children's Science News

"Biting Back" - 16 Sept. 2013

"Underwater Adventurer" - 7 Oct. 2013

"Swallowed Up" - 3 Feb. 2014

Scholastic Science World

 

In engaging stories about venomous animals, sinkholes, and a do-it-yourself submarine, Mara Grunbaum offered her young readers a look at how scientists and engineers seek to understand and interact with the natural world. She explained how erosion can carve out cavities in certain types of bedrock resulting eventually in a dramatic collapse called a sinkhole. But Grunbaum also sought to reassure her readers that the odds of being swallowed up in a sinkhole are very, very small. Her story on snakes and other venomous animals explained what makes snake venom harmful, how to...Read more

2013

Children's Science News

"Kaltwasserkorallen: Ein Paradies am Meeresgrund" (Cold Water Corals: Paradise on the Seabed) - October 2012

GEOlino magazine (Germany)

 

Barbara Lich of GEOlino, a German science magazine for children, won the children's science news award, established in 2005. Until 2015, it was the only AAAS science journalism award open to writers for media outlets not based in the United States.

While corals have been well-studied in tropical reefs, Lich told her young readers about the lesser-known cold water corals living hundreds of meters below the ocean's surface, a realm only reachable by a crewed submersible. She accompanied a team of research biologists from the Helmholtz Center for Oceanic Research...Read more

2012

Children's Science News

"Uninvited Guests" - April/May 2012

Current Health Kids

 

Kirsten Weir wrote for her young readers about the microbes that inhabit our bodies and help in many cases to keep invading organisms at bay. “Kids often seem to think that science is something that happens in a laboratory or a faraway place,” Weir said. “I loved that this story underscored how much is still unknown about the organisms living right under our noses (not to mention the rest of our bodies).”

Weir described for her young readers the parasites, microbes, and creepy-crawlies that live in (and on) the human body. In her lively tour of our hitch-hiking...Read more

2011

Children's Science News

"Skywalking for Science: Aloft in Redwood Space" - April 2011

ODYSSEY Magazine

 

Miller took her young readers to the top of redwood trees to learn how scientists study the canopy of these magnificent giants and the organisms that live there. They also are learning how water moves through the trunks and branches of trees that grow to more than 300 feet. “The story is a complete package with interesting sidebars, including one explaining how salmon and redwood forests benefit each other,” said Mary Knudson, a freelance science writer. “I first went camping on the northern California coast in the 1970s,” Miller said. “I was awestruck by the redwoods, but I...Read more

2010

Children's Science News

"Learning from Bears" - 1 Feb 2010

"Real-Life Bloodsuckers" - 26 Oct. 2009

"Saving the Ozone Layer" - 7 Sept. 2009

Science World (Scholastic)

 

In an entry of three unrelated stories, Cody Crane tackled an admirable breadth of subject matter in stories that took her young readers into the field to show how scientists think and work. She followed a Minnesota research biologist who checked in with hibernating bears for clues on how they manage their winter-long slumber. She also told her readers about vampire bats and other animal bloodsuckers that play an important role in nature. Catherine Hughes, science editor for National Geographic Kids, said that Crane’s writing is “clear, straightforward, kid-...Read more

2009

Children's Science News

"Where Rivers Run Uphill" - 23 July 2008

Science News for Kids

 

Douglas Fox used his journey across Antarctic ice sheets to show how scientists are studying a strange world of lakes and rivers beneath the ice. He wrote that scientists think that “lakes under the ice might act like giant slippery banana peels.” He and the researchers traveled to a lake that is “buried under ice, two Empire State Buildings below our feet.”

Arndt Reuning, a science reporter for Deutschlandradio, said Fox covered “an important issue in a vivid and funny way. He’s a superb and entertaining story-teller.” Catherine Hughes of National Geographic...Read more

2008

Children's Science News

"Roadkill, Horror on Roads" - 15 June 2008

Children's Science Donga

 

The judges liked the offbeat subject matter and the nice description of scientific investigation in Yoon Shin-Young’s piece on the impact of highway roadkills on native species in South Korea. “Yoon Shin-Young’s story was excellent,” said Lila Guterman, a freelance writer formerly with The Chronicle of Higher Education. She said the piece was “interesting to read with lots of great examples, photos and graphics.” Jean-Louis Santini, a science reporter for Agence France-Presse called it “an original piece that clearly presents the issues… a very attractive piece.”...Read more

2007

Children's Science News

"A Whale of a Mystery" - 15 Jan. 2007

Scholastic Science World

 

Chiang told her young readers about an investigation by scientists into the puzzling death of a North Atlantic right whale that was spotted drifting off the coast of Nova Scotia. She described various clues that the researchers followed in trying to determine the cause of death. They eventually concluded that a large, blunt object had hit the whale on one side. Catherine Hughes, a senior editor for National Geographic Kids magazine, said the story met all the criteria. “The mystery is an immediate draw for kids, as is the compelling species, the ever-...Read more

Certificate of Merit

"The Show of the Beautiful Slimers" - 7 Feb. 2007

GEOlino Magazine (Germany)

 

The judging panel recommended a special Certificate of Merit for the runner-up in the children’s news cateogry. Sina Löschke, a writer for GEOlino — a German science magazine for children — wrote an engaging piece about sea slugs. “With lively, imaginative writing and colorful pictures, the story deftly introduces readers to these unusual ocean denizens and cogently explains their biological quirks,” said John Carey of Business Week. Löschke’s piece was published on 7 February 2007.

 ...Read more

2006

Children's Science News

"Fade to White" - 6 Jan. 2006

Current Science

 

Geiger won praise from the judges for explaining the basics of natural selection and evolution to children in a story about the changing color of lizards in the New Mexico desert. “Kids who don’t really give a flip about the debate over evolution that surrounds their classrooms relate to lizards,” said Jeff Nesmith of Cox Newspapers. Laura Helmuth of Smithsonian magazine said Geiger used “clear, amusing, colorful language” in describing natural selection, speciation and the geology of sand dunes. “The explanation of the process of science was non-...Read more

2005

Children's Science News

"Mammoth Hunters" - March 2005

Scholastic's SuperScience

 

Elizabeth Carney gave her young readers an inviting description of the field work by scientists who are studying the remains of an ancient mammoth in Siberia. Laura Helmuth of Smithsonian magazine commended Carney’s use of “inviting, non-patronizing language,” including the amusing image that a mammoth weighs more than 230 fourth graders.

Carney, who wrote her story while working as an intern for Scholastic publications after completing a master’s degree in biomedical journalism at New York University, also told her readers that many questions remain unanswered, such...Read more