This morning, a friend sent me a link to an article from Kid Gardening.org, a site that “helps young minds grow”. The article, Engaging Students through Citizen Science , highlights the benefits–to educators AND students–of participating in citizen science projects:
[Students] think and act like scientists as they make careful observations, ask their own questions, look for patterns, try to make sense of data, and link their local observations to larger global issues. Some participants learn geography and mapping skills as they track migrations or other events on real-time maps. Besides honing their science and technology skills, students are motivated to read, count, calculate, and communicate. They also learn about being collaborators; environmental stewards; and engaged local, national, and global citizens. Oh, and they have fun, to boot! “The children get so involved that teaching is easy,” says one teacher. “It’s the most motivating type of project you can do.”
The article includes links to getting started guides and the author’s favorite citizen science sites, including ScienceForCitizens.net which she describes as “a brand new Web site that aims to be a one-stop shop for those wanting to advertise citizen science projects and those seeking to participate. The site’s Project Finder enables you to search for projects by topic, location, time commitment, difficulty, suitability for students, and more”.
So, teachers, let us help you find a citizen science activity just perfect for your class. Check out our growing list of projects (and check back frequently as new projects are added every week!).