Findings from the Field

Building a student scientist community working together to conduct, reflect on, and share scientific investigations

Through Findings from the Field we are growing a community of middle school ecosystem scientists across the region, and supporting them in deepening their scientific thinking. They share that thinking through a science journal. Engaging in this community empowers student scientists with an authentic context for sharing their investigations. Writing about scientific endeavors creates opportunities to reflect on and make meaning of scientific work and to open the work to public discussion and critique. Peer review and publication connect learners and reflect the real-world practices of professionals in STEM fields, who publish in scientific journals to share their results with broader audiences. Curriculum and professional development for teachers help bring this effort to students in powerful ways.

Project Goals:

  • Enhance student understanding of scientific inquiry by immersing them in the science writing process.
  • Connect students in a scientific community of practice where they can communicate their work.
  • Support teachers as they lead students through the process of scientific inquiry and writing.

What is Findings from the Field?

Findings from the Field is a middle school journal of ecological and environmental scientific investigations. Produced and launched in 2017 by GMRI, in collaboration with a community of student scientists and teachers across Maine and New Hampshire, Findings from the Field gives students the opportunity to engage in and communicate about authentic scientific inquiry. Student contributions to the journal undergo a process of peer and editorial board review before publication.

"The best part of this project was looking at the final product and realizing what I had just completed, which was a fully comprehensive research paper."

8th Grader Falmouth Middle School

Findings from the Field Student Research Symposium

In February 2020, we invited middle school students and their teachers to join the Findings from the Field community by participating in a virtual research symposium. The online symposium allowed students to join professional, college level, high school and middle school scientists to share findings, connect over experiences as scientists, and learn from each other’s work. Students and teachers had a range of options they could participate in throughout the symposium, including the creation of their own mini-posters summarizing their work, and live panel discussions with professional scientists.

Symposium Highlights

Visit our Asynchronous Landing Page to catch up on all the highlights from our most recent student research symposium.

"My students really enjoyed hearing from real scientists. They were excited to see people working in such interesting fields where they combine their love of the outdoors with their scientific interests. Many of my students think of scientists as people in white coats who work in labs and I appreciate the opportunity for them to see other potential careers that they could pursue."

Middle School Teacher

Professional Development Opportunities

The GMRI Education team also works hard to develop and provide professional development opportunities for educators looking to get their students involved in the Findings from the Field process, and much more!

I feel like this was the piece I have been missing! The high moment of today was the whole day, which gave me the tools to feel much more confident in connecting my students to authentic scientific work.

Teacher workshop participant
In this edition of Field Notes, Meggie Harvey talks about our Findings from the Field project, a unique opportunity for students to engage in critical elements of the scientific process: the writing, peer review, and publication of results.

This is the logo for HM Payson

GMRI is grateful to HM Payson for their sponsorship of Volume 3 of Findings from the Field

Our Education team first began to develop resources for Findings in 2016 with the help of our founding editorial board

Bill McWeeny, Adams School, Castine, Maine

Cynthia Nye, Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Glenn Powers, Center for Teaching and Learning, Edgecomb, Maine

Findings from the Field Team

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