BSCS Report: Designing Citizen Science for Both Science and Education

This is a logo for BSCS.Created in 1958 as the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) within the National Science Foundation, BSCS Science Learning is now an independent 501(c)(3) with over 60 years of research and educational training, focusing on science learning. Their mission is to transform science education “so that all students have an opportunity to learn science for their lives and careers.” 

As a curriculum study, BSCS leverages research to improve the development of science education materials. Recently, one of their reports examined citizen science! 

In January of 2017, BSCS hosted a workshop with citizen science folks of all stripes – scientists, educators, technologists – to create guidelines for designing citizen science projects and platforms that promote both scientific and educational outcomes.

In their press release, they tout the scientific rigor of citizen science; a project does not have to “choose between scientific and educational goals.” BSCS hopes that practitioners of citizen science will implement the design guidelines suggested in the report inside and outside of the classroom, educating others while also doing real science.

Does reading this report get you fired up to participate in citizen science? Then we suggest you find a project on SciStarter’s Project Finder! 

Categories: Citizen Science News, Education


About the Author

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson is a Senior Program Director at SciStarter where she manages the Citizen Science Month Program, SciStarter’s Corporate Volunteer Programs and other programmatic and outreach efforts, including working with SciStarter’s Syndicated Blog Network, which encompasses the Science Connected, Discover Magazine and SciStarter platforms. She spends her day helping educators, library staff, community leaders and volunteers from all walks of life do real science. Caroline is a Master of Public Policy graduate from American University, where she was a Reilly Environmental Policy Scholar, and is a current PhD student at the University of Florida. She also works with the UF-VA Bioethics Unit, the Christensen Project, Florida Community Innovation and the Commission on Local Debates. She was the 2019 Cherry Blossom Princess representing the state of Florida and the grand prize scholarship winner at Miss Earth USA 2021 as Miss Louisiana Earth.