2022 Children's Science News - Gold

The judges liked the cartoon format in these stories from Science News Explores (formerly known as Science News for Students), published by Science News Media Group. The stories discussed how cockatoos teach each other how to open garbage bins, how pandas stand out in zoos but blend into their environment in the wild, and how researchers managed to put goldfish in the driver’s seat in an experimental apparatus that allows them to maneuver across a room. “I loved all three stories and the wonderful way the well-written text jibed with the comics,” said judge Christine Dell’Amore, online natural history editor for National Geographic. “I can imagine a kid getting really engaged in these stories, especially the cockatoo one. The goldfish study was really surprising and drew me in right away.” Rory Galloway, podcast producer for The Economist, added: “These comics were a truly delightful way to bring science to life, from cockatoos opening bins, to fish driving cars. The authors and illustrator explained the scientific process with a light touch, in a way that was both fun and hugely engaging for young people.” Cathy Edwards, formerly an audio producer for the BBC, said the winning entries “were a creative, engaging, and fun way to communicate science stories to children. The charismatic illustrations of cockatoos opening garbage bins made me laugh out loud. The comic strip format really helped to illustrate how these cockatoos’ social learning works, and how scientists went about studying it.” In a team statement, the winners said: “Even fun topics in science can sometimes be intimidating for kids, especially when it comes in large chunks of text. We thought comics would be the perfect way to hook a young audience and show them that science doesn’t have to be a slog.”