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 is a Master of Public Policy student at American University with a focus on environmental and climate change policy. She also works with the UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit, the Christensen Project, the DC Gator Club, and the Commission on Local Debates. Caroline manages SciStarter's Syndicated Blog Network, which encompasses the Science Connected, Discover Magazine, and SciStarter platforms, and manages programs at SciStarter.