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Assistant professor's research published by National Science Foundation

2018-10-10-Gina-Childers
Dr. Gina Childers, assistant professor in middle grades and secondary education at the University of North Georgia (UNG), had the research she conducted with North Carolina State University faculty members published on the National Science Foundation's (NSF) website in July 2018.

While many faculty members work to have their research published, it still comes as a surprise when academic publications print stories about their research.

Dr. Gina Childers, assistant professor in middle grades and secondary education at the University of North Georgia (UNG), said she was delighted when the research she conducted with North Carolina State University faculty members was published on the National Science Foundation's (NSF) website in July 2018. NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

"Being able to share the research we did with others was rewarding to me," she said.

Childers' research focused on collecting information about individuals who participated in science-related hobbies. The individuals were divided into two groups: citizen scientists and science hobbyists.

"Citizen scientists are people who collect and share scientific data," Childers said. "A good example is the Great Backyard Bird Count, because they are actively collecting data about the birds they see."

Science hobbyists are focused on science, but do not collect data or share. One example would be a person who collects butterflies.

Based on interviews from 107 science hobbyists such as amateur astronomers and birders and an online survey of 745 citizen scientists and 2,119 science hobbyists, the research revealed the common denominator was their intrinsic interest in science.

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