Viewing 56 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Which citizen-science projects have you used with learners, if any? Do you have any advice or suggestions about how to participate in the specific project you have used or with citizen science in general? If you have not done a citizen-science project with learners, reflect on the readings and how you might incorporate citizen science.
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Raz K
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      raznrol
      At Earthroots Field School, we have a variety of lessons that concentrate on observing nature. We have a quiet sit, where we encourage students to observe their immediate environment, for a specific amount of time (shorter for kindy, longer for older kids/adults) We then reconvene and talk about what we noticed. We go on nature walks to locate and to discover on the spot. We look at tracks, water pathways, trees and plants, insects and local birds and animals. Sometimes we do these in structured way, have questionnaires after or sometimes we just let it happen naturally and spontaneously.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      akleinsorge
      This year is the first year I've tried to incorporate citizen science in my classroom.  Over the summer I became familiar with, and used iNaturalist a lot.  I thought it would be fun to use it with my class.  Unfortunately, due to technology glitches and trying to problem solve virtually I haven't been able to get many of my kiddos on the app.  However, as I was reading through other opportunities for citizen science I was trying to figure out ways we might be able to participate in a project together.  Project Feeder Watch would be one we might be able to do together from my kitchen table.  I could bring my ipad and we could all observe the bird feeder for a bit together.  It's not ideal, but nothing about this year is.  In future years, my school has a decent sized outdoor area we could definitely use to participate in Citizen Science projects together!
    • Ron
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      ronbrohm
      As a Park Commissioner and I am creating a citizen science program for our Parks Department. We hope to engage our community to get involved with Citizen Science projects including local students, seniors and citizens at large. I plan to start by initially implementing a Tree Trekkers tree identification project, River water sample testing and birding projects. This course is providing information and insight for assisting in formulating and properly structuring the programs and processes we are working on launching. I look forward to getting our community involved in citizen science.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Banjojanie
      When I was still teaching, I used Project Budburst, and YardMap in my classroom. The students looked forward to the Big Leaf Maple tree near our building. Their observations and ensuing discussion built meaningful connections to the outdoors, seasonal changes, and appreciation of nature cycles. YardMap was a fantastic way to get to know, understand, observe nature in our own yards. I'm sad that this citizen science resource is no longer available. I personally have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I think this project, the Christmas Bird Count, and Project Feeder Watch would be engaging to do with the neighbor children.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      PVAbobcats
      I definitely want to use the Great Sunflower Project in class and at home; sunflower seeds are affordable and can go home with students as well as be planted at school. We can use this as a multi-tiered lesson for months until blooms occur. In all that I'm considering for this fall at school, I'm considering what components can be used at home and at school; those that have crossover are topping my lists while planning.
    • David Lockett
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      DavidLockett
      I've had success with Globe Program. Students were able to participate with cellphones and tablets to make cloud and mosquito larva observations. Citizen Science provides real opportunities to get involved with a variety of projects. My advice for teachers that are new to citizen science? Find ways to incorporate data and have students research the variety of projects  that are available. Try integrating projects that are hands-on and provide curious and introspective ways to collect data.
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      bschieman
      I think that the project that I would like to most integrate into my classroom is not listed above, but was mentioned in the video, which led me to check out the website: Celebrate Urban Birds.  My school is located in a downtown area, and there is an abundance of bird life that feeds, nests and lives right on campus.  I teach students of color, primarily, and my goal is to help them get more involved in caring for the environment where we live and work.  I would very much like to get my students involved in observing, studying and recording the "other world" that lives right alongside us, starting with the bird residents of our campus, and potentially providing that feedback to the scientists working with CUBs, so that they see that what they do matters outside of the city where we live, as well as right here.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      tbandy34
      I teach in a mixed age classroom. My students are between 6 and 8 years old. Birding is my hobby and an area that I feel comfortable teaching to my students. Birds are everywhere, and I find that children in my classroom have a natural interest in birds. Our school is located in a rural, agricultural area approximately 25 miles from Sacramento, CA. We are located near two large nature preserves - one is wetlands and the other is riparian. Our locale provides us with an extensive variety of birds - ones that migrate through twice a year and others that live in the area year round. We've participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, and we've posted many of our sightings on eBird and iNaturalist. We use field guides to identify the birds we observe. We've been posting our iNaturalist observations under a project/organization where I received my Certified Naturalist training. However, since our school will be remote learning for at least four months, I plan to create our school as a project so we can accumulate our own observations. My plan is to use their observations as a foundation for many of our biology lessons while our school site is closed. My advice for citizen science (which I've recently heard referred to as community science) projects is to be realistic about what your students are capable of doing, especially if teaching younger children.
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 33
      Pam Hosimer
      I love all these citizen science projects but don’t have any students to do them with. I have taught teachers about citizen science for years and shared many of these fabulous resources that we just read about in hopes of inspiring some of them to become involved with citizen science. I have also participated in a lot of professional development about citizen science to increase my own knowledge. And I have participated in several of these citizen science projects myself. I am hoping through this course to come up with a way that I may be able to incorporate citizen science into my volunteer work with youth.
    • S
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Ladyhawk85
      My students created a butterfly garden 4 years ago as a result of doing a field study at their school. They raised money for the garden, decided where they wanted it, and designed it. They researched what flowers to plant to attract butterflies and planted the garden. I have this picture because we had another critter that appreciated the garden. Our garden has had many visitors besides butterflies so has been a great enjoyment for the whole school. We have not connected with a Citizen Science group so I looked into Project Bud Burst as a possible choice. A while ago, a couple of my students were observing the behavior of the crows around our school which turned into a project. The whole class became interested so we sat down and made a plan. I acquired a grant for bird study. We obtained feeders, nesting boxes, and 2 cameras, among other things. Our feeders are up and the students were really excited to see what birds came to the feeders. One of our students made five birdhouses with her grandfather and we have those posted around our school. Our cameras are not up and running because our school has been having work done on it but I am told that might happen soon. When I did some investing, of course, Cornell Lab came up which was last year and thus the reason I am writing here. IMG_20191028_165921
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      Lingibbs63
      This year I facilitated my land trust's first online Tug Hill Bird Quest, an activity similar to Project Feederwatch, with school, youth, family and adult observers in the Tug Hill Region (2,100 square mile rural area west of the Adirondacks). For the Bird Quest, each participating group or individual collects and reports bird observation data during one common observation week in May.  The aim is to connect participants with nature through birds, and inspire them to get outside and learn more, particularly in the Tug Hill region. The land trust has conducted the event each year to limited extent with school classrooms on a voluntary basis for many years, but this was the first year we provided additional support materials online, such as slide shows and activity suggestions.  Schools closing so abruptly put a major wrench in classroom participation, but we had a healthy interest from homeschool groups, families, and adults throughout the area. I was able to provide regular support via email to those with online access, thankfully. The most challenging aspect for me was making sure participants were engaged and able to feel competent identifying and counting birds. I began two weeks before observation week sending a daily Bird of the Day email, as well as posting it on our Facebook page, picturing and providing interesting facts about a specific bird likely to be seen at the feeder. Participants were directed to Cornell and Audubon web sites for more further information, and encouraged to contact me with observations, discoveries and questions. Encouragement to join Project Feederwatch was supplied upon completion of the observation week - many had expressed a wish to continue watching feeders through the year. I am hoping to incorporate regular live meetings (show your artwork, meet a naturalist, etc.) in the next round, as well as expand availability of curriculum options in classrooms or at home.  It was great to see so many people so excited about birds, learning to identify the different species, and seeing things new to them that made them want to see more. I also hope to expand our participation into additional citizen science projects, such as water quality monitoring, invasive species monitoring and management, and climate change topics (Project BudBurst data over time?).
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      CoachGoody17
      A few years ago I took a group of middle school students into the Amazon Rainforest of Peru to immerse them in culture, service, and biodiversity. While there we participated in a project through the Smithsonian called, The Bio-Cube Project. The students LOVED being able to contribute data, and for a lot of them this was a highlight of the trip. The data was recorded through the Amazon Academy and EcoTeach. Other than that, I haven't incorporated CS into my classroom mainly because I myself get pretty overwhelmed by the different avenues in which one can contribute.  I often struggle with consistency rather inconsistency due to demands on the classroom.  I know my students are fascinated by nature and want to be outside more.  I am excited to make that happen this year since school is going to look a lot differently than it used to and I believe it is cruel to take kids out of quarantine and make them sit inside anymore!  I suppose sometimes I think about managing all of those students in small spaces as well. There will always be a few who do not want to participate and who demand your attention. Last semester, while my students were stuck staring at screens all day, I incorporated a weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, nature journal. If for no other reason than to just get outside, appreciate nature, and see all of the life sprouting up around them in the spring time.  I had students emailing me about birds and their nests/eggs, I had students excited to share their drawings of flowers, and for some I think they just loved being able to get away from their screen.  I LOVE BIRDS. I love amphibians/reptiles/mammals/insects/plants too!  But I love birds.  When I first started my naturalist work in the Great Smokies, I remember thinking " I will never learn all of these birds."  And now, there are so many birds I can hear and know who they are that it's even shocking to me! I have to say, that too is all thanks to Merlin Bird ID as well.  Each new year I name my classes based on something that I loved studying personally that year. I tried to pick my favorites in each category and keep my selection to those who frequent my state, NC. The year of birds was by far the best group of students I had ever had!  And you can bet those kids new how to ID the Chickadee, Goldfinch, Ruby-Throated, and the House Finch. We had calls so that I could get their attention and the connection I made with those students was stronger than any class that I have ever had.  I say that to say this, it is time for me to get some feeders on campus (I have been talking about it for awhile but always get wrapped up in other things and don't want to ask for permission).  Project Feeder Watch as well as Ebird are two tools that I would like to get started with right away.  I would also love to look into phenology on campus. I think it would be cool if we could get those kids working towards removing invasive species.  We already have our facilities department planting only natives, but even that took years! It would be cool to help them id those types of plants and educate their family at home. This generation of students is so precious and important to the future of our planet and I need to be better about making time to inspire them to wonder more. I also have been trying for years to figure out a way to use citizen science in the Amazon (no wifi) and compile data over time for my students. (we are supposed to go every 2 years). SciStarter/Zooniverse will have my attention.
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Lingibbs63
        Wow I wish you'd been my middle school teacher, LOL! I was fortunate to be able to travel to Ecuador the final semester of my master's program, and I learned so very much. Using nature journaling to get your students outside was a stroke of genius. I am sure they needed that time to get out of the house with their own thoughts and just be, while being able to focus on a world other than themselves and all the stresses they were experiencing. I highly recommend feeder watching and Project Feederwatch. We do a spring feeder observation program, which is exciting for participants because of all the new birds migrating through, but PF's longer winter period allows students to become familiar with resident birds and explore more questions more fully. I love that your enthusiasm has led to the same for your students! Sometimes seeing their instructor passionate and learning allows deeper connection - they see that you are human!
    • Nikki
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mswallacexth
      I have completed the Canine Behavioral Assessment & Research Questionnaire, Feline Behavioral Assessment & Research Questionnaire, Celebrate Urban Birds, and Ant Picnic. These project were chosen to complete because they were easy and required little to no equipment to perform at home for my students during the "Corona" online period.
    • Cara
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      carafern
      I have used EBird with learners and it seemed like children enjoyed the aspect of counting birds together! I like the above mentioned citizen science projects and platforms and feel that they may be better suited for students to participate in.
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Sylvia_Qualls
      I have used ebird with my students. While I have raised and observed Monarch caterpillars with my students I have not done it in a formal way. For me, I prefer to start by developing the habit of nature walks and observations with students. This gives much more of an organic opportunity for students to drive the experience and develop structure out of students' observations. It also helps students understand why scientists use tools, specific methods of data collection, or structures for observation. It also requires a lot less teacher driven knowledge sharing. This is just my own experience. I don't mind things being unstructured for awhile, it helps the kids to see through their own experience how they are pattern finding, meaning makers, and that that this is part of science. I still plan to teach ornithology and use ebird, but our route getting there will be circuitous, and be determined by what the children find interesting and intriguing. Also I want it to be fun and joyful for us as a class, not just something we have to do.
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      j.hardy
      I recently just participated in my first 2 citizen science projects this spring and loved it which, but have never conducted one myself which was my prompt behind signing up for this learning opportunity. As a non-formal educator, I work with all the students in my county. This year with our students anticipating the possibility of more remote learning, I am hoping to work with one of my middle schools' 7th or 8th-grade students and teachers. Each year my office does education contests with a theme and this year is "We all live in a Watershed" this year I am looking to incorporate this into a citizen science project by having students use iNaturalist, and work with the grade level teachers to help with compiling data students collect and students turning what they learn into reports, presentations. I would like for students to select something as their inquiry subject from within their watershed, whether it is macroinvertebrates, plant species around the pooling areas of water, pollinators in the area, specific wildlife they find in the watershed, or what they don't find that could be keeping something from the environment, such as pollutants.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      Curious621
      I have not used any citizen science projects but have learned a bunch about them this summer through my professional development.  One course I tool through Indiana University on Educating for Environmental Change and another one hour workshop with my local park district.  I am extremely excited to try citizen science this year especially since it fits right in with remote learning and would offer lab activities since I will not be able to do traditional labs.  I am interested in a bird monitoring program through the local park district but also programs through Cornell, Monarch Watch, Project BudBurst and iNaturalist.  These would work well with all levels of students.  I would like to introduce my students to several options and then let their interests guide them to what they choose.  The timing is perfect for me to be learning about all of these options and my local park district naturalists are tremendous resources and very approachable so I think I can make this work!
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      allisonmurphy
      I typically use iNaturalist as a platform and participate in projects that use it, like the NRPA's pollinator bioblitz, and we've also participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I work in a park and it's typically easier to incorporate citizen science into events for the general public. They can either participate directly through iNaturalist or eBird, or we provide observation forms and the option for participants to submit their observations for us to log into the appropriate cite. In programs, the kids don't typically have their own phones to take photos with or log observations so I do that part for them whenever we find new species we'd like to identify and log. We're also in the process of introducing citizen science hikes for families where we'll focus on a specific project each time and the adults in the family will be able to take photos of observations.
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Lingibbs63
        I work informally with groups, too, Allison. I have not incorporated iNaturalist or eBird into our programs yet, but look forward to doing so as we go forward and can do more in-person programming again. It is challenging because not everyone has the resources, as you say, but your tips are very much appreciated. The idea of citizen science hikes for families is exciting! I may have to steal that idea ;D.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      JackieScott
      I have not had the opportunity to conduct a citizen scientists projects with my students yet. With the fact that I have students who must complete a science fair project, one of these options could be a doable option especially since distance learning is such a real option this year. I would like to give my students the option of one of the options for a class led science fair project. I have classes each year that need a lot of guidance and support. By having these options for a citizen science projects would allow me to be more helpful and be able to build their confidence. It would definitely allow me to build their confidence.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      SaraPi
      Has anyone used CS in an ecotour? We run canoe, kayak, and pontoon trips and I would LOVE to offer a version of these tours that incorporates CS. Through grant funding, we were able to purchase a YSI mutliprobe meter that provides water quality info (pH, salinity, temp, and dissolved oxygen) in situ. This is a great tool but I'd like to combine this with other CS projects for the 2 hour tour. Would appreciate any feedback if anyone here has participated or led an ecotour like this. thanks! :)
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      SaraPi
      We've developed a citizen science walk at our nature center, with interactive stations that allow visitors to contriubte to data collection for 4 different citizen science projects (Pondwatch, Secchi Disk App, Weather, and our own time lapse project to track mangrove growth).  This is a fairly new offering for our center and so far I've had the opportunity to work with a group of homeschool students to gather data for these projects. The students were most engaged with the weather station as it had many interactive tasks that used tools new to the group. Students worked through the station together and We also have a biocube walk setup around our campus and encourage users to log their findings in the iNaturalist app using our center's biocube project. We just starting to incorporate these offerings and had planned to utilize them for our camps this summer - and then, well you know. I'm excited to use citizen science as a teaching tool that blends technology and time outdoors in a benefical way. I love introducing people to iNaturalist because it's a fantastic tool to learn about the natural world, you can participate anywhere, and it provides an option to stay engaged after visiting our center.
    • Phanh
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      phanhnguyen
      I haven't done any citizen-science project with students. Reading about the projects mentioned in this lesson, I'm excited to see that some are available for locations outside of North America. Also, they are relevant to my work with the students in the garden, as part of the gardening involves observations and recording data about local weather, blooming time, birds and insects.... The tools and resources they provide will be very useful for my planning of gardening activities.
      • Pam
        Participant
        Chirps: 33
        Pam Hosimer
        Phanh, I think many of these projects would be a wonderful addition to garden programs. I recently saw a presentation on Project BudBurst and thought it would be a great way to get students out into the courtyard garden at two of my schools and observe what is happening all year long, even in the winter. My students are always curious about every little detail that they see so this citizen science project would be great because it would encourage them to not only observe all the little details but get them to use scientific inquiry too.
    • ej
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tejer!
      Great Backyard Bird Count (which as someone noted below is a great, simple, short intro to citizen science), Project Feederwatch - both as a classroom and for students to do at home. For the latter, students experimented on the side with bird feeder styles (we built some in class), different types of birdseed, different locations, etc Nestwatch - we did as a community service project for local nature center. Students built/repaired and installed bird boxes on existing posts, and monitored throughout the season. We did classroom and onsite training - the latter was very important to make sure everyone knew where &  how to open each box as we had several varieties. The nature center let us store a backpack with the essentials (clipboard with data sheets & pens, dental mirror, etc. which was very handy. We split into 3 groups of 4 families. Each group had 5 or 6 nestboxes to check on (which including hiking to them meant 30-60 minutes/visit). The families in each group took turns so that each family only had to check every other week or two. Each student also picked a question to answer (do birds prefer the old or new boxes better? which birds choose the boxes in trees vs on posts? etc) various butterfly & milkweed ones - can't recall which ones in particular Lost Ladybug in conjunction with local children's garden. CSI (water monitoring in Finger Lakes region) NWS Skywarn (weather spotter program) Tips - always test them out yourself before introducing to your class!! Connecting to local entities/turning into a community service project is nice but can definitely be more work.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      jenna132
      I haven't done any Citizen Science projects with my students.  While in NC, I was set to complete a mammal survey but was unable to attend a training on how to use the trailcams.  I would love to do more of these with my current students.  A large part of our curriculum deals with weather.  I think the programs dealing with ecology and climate change would be especially useful in our classroom as well as the CoCoRaHS.  If I could find one that enables students to work with rocks, minerals, and the rock cycle I would love to use that as well.
    • Kinta High School
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      KintaZoology
      I have used several Citizen science projects in our school and it has been a great experience for our students. Blue Thumb stream monitoring has been very good for both high school and middle school students.  The Globe Observer, from NASA, has been good for middle school students monitoring weather and trees.  The Globe Observer also has Mosquito Habitat mapper and Land Cover apps, I just have not had time to use these yet.  The CoCoRhHS rain gauge is on its way to my school now. Citizen Science materials have provided great opportunities to record, submit data and we have used this often to create graphs.  The Globe Observer is easy to use outside the classroom.  I use one IPad and let the students use that for the data input.  Then, of course, hand the IPad back to me.  Usually, I combine that with a five-minute walk to a small park with a jogging track.  At the park, we have investigated everything from grasses, birds, frogs, pulse rate, and for middle school- who is the fastest. This is also helpful for the- "Now if you will get this assignment completed soon we can go monitor clouds and hike to the park". I have great administration support.  If they are unable to control themselves, not very often, they can sit with the principle and complete homework or definitions.
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Vagabondgirl
      We have not yet participated in citizen science programs but we have partnered with local farmers, a woodlot association, the David Suzuki Foundation, and partook in Energy Challenges as a means of conducting "real life inquiry". To date we have raised and released painted lady butterflies, established a large Learning Garden with GreenWheel Farms along with a mushroom bed with Fullerton Farms. The Ontario Woodlot Association has helped us acquire and plant 10 Butternut tree seedlings (endangered species) and we have reduced electrical consumption and waste (including food waste) in our classrooms through recycling, reduction, and composting. The next logical step is engaging in formal citizen science programs. Since we already have an established "Tree Restaurant" for bird/squirrel feeders, I think Project FeederWatch would be easiest foray into a new world of data collection and information sharing for young children. Today I joined Birds Canada and registered our class for the FeederWatch program which will include the Feeder Watch session in November 2020! To prepare for September, and as I progress through this course, I will consider how to lay the groundwork for November’s FeederWatch event by contemplating the following: 1) Consider how to focus student questions and observations on the birds we see in our school yard, during field trips, and around their own homes. Create an “I WONDER…” bulletin board in the Investigation Station section of the classroom. These are to be photographed, printed and laminated for posting in the Learning Garden and in the Wild Woods for reference. 2) Consider the observations and areas of interest raised by the students (behaviours, characteristics, nesting, etc). How can I support further inquiry into those areas of bird study. 3) Decide upon a location(s) for frequent bird observation. Prepare tools and materials for student inquiry including child-friendly and “adult” field guides, binoculars, clipboards, Bird journals for each student, writing tools, iPads for camera/video use and identification apps. 4) Consider developmentally appropriate data management and experimentations using the 4 stages of inquiry (Confirmation, Shared, Guided, Open). Prepare graph templates on large chart paper for class use and smaller chart paper that can be attached in student journals. Create reusable interactive “5 Senses Observation Flip Guides” to match the interactive “5 Senses Observation Chart” already posted in the classroom. Create a laminated “Magnifying Glass” observation illustration for repeated use and to model the use of their own photocopied journal-sized “magnifying glass” illustration papers. 5) Review the overall and specific curriculum expectations found within the “Demonstrations of Literacy and Mathematic Behaviours” and the “Problem-Solving & Innovation” frames of the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum. Create standard notes for pedagogical documentation to be used by myself and EAs/ECEs. Consider the expectations that can be covered and the means through which student progress (formative and cumulative) will be assessed.IMG_5451
      • Sara
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        SaraPi
        I just adore your sketches, such a fun classroom setup!
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Vagabondgirl

        @Sara Thanks, Sara. I felt a bit silly in posting them at first. But I decided to put on my "big girl panties" and share my sketches.  I am trying to embrace visual arts and journalling more in my daily life- it is brand new to me. I have a strong practical streak and sketching/painting my "assignments" provides me with a lot of time to reflect on my teaching practice and what I want to keep/strengthen and what I want to purge. I want to simplify and slow down in my daily routine at home and at work. We often feel pressure to "check all the boxes" for curriculum and to "prepare our students" for the next grade. So we rush and crush in a race for breadth not depth. I've been flipping my program on its head for 3 years now and the results are surprisingly reaffirming of the "less is more" motto. And so, I will continue to sketch and think and think and sketch to slow down my thoughts. Your Ruminating Classmate, Laurie

      • Pam
        Participant
        Chirps: 33
        Pam Hosimer

        @laurie Laurie your sketches are totally inspiring to me! I’m actually surprised to see you write they are brand new to you. When I first saw them I thought you must be an artist that also teaches science/environmental ed. And I love that you decided to do it to reflect on your teaching practice. I seriously need to step off the hamster wheel I am on and try something like this. Please continue to share your beautiful art!

      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        amyeroche1
        Gorgeous!  I'm so jealous of your art skills.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Vagabondgirl

        @Amy Honest to goodness, Amy. Just start doing it whether you are "good" at art or not. I am 47 years old and started sketching for this course. Seriously. It is such a fabulous way to slow the mind and engage in reflective practice. I am enjoying it so much that I am going to take allaboutbirds/org's Journaling course when I am finished this one. I keep this little "professional practice" diary for my own use but I wanted to share it here because a) it's safe to do it and b) I thought it showed a different way of approaching content as a student. Who cares how it looks in the end. It's a nice creative outlet and a really valuable way to synthesize ideas and concepts of the course. HAVE FUN!!!

    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      amyeroche1
      This year my class participated in a citizen science project with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  Every April, the Painted Lady butterflies migrate en masse through the city from the deserts of Arizona and Mexico to the Pacific Coast.  Everybody went outside for a designated period of time and counted the number of Painted Ladies they saw flying west and submitted it to the museum. It was a perfect first citizen science project for us.  This summer I'm hoping to become more familiar with eBird and set up a class account.  I'm planning to start with that next year and then, based on what my students are interested in, guide them toward different projects based on their own personal passions.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Vagabondgirl
        This is fabulous. This was the second year our school raised painted lady butterflies and released them! Aren't they beautiful? Check out Shady Oak Butterfly Farm in California. You can purchase all sorts of kits from them to raise butterflies with your students. www.shadyoakbutterflyfarm.com  
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        amyeroche1

        @laurie Thank you for directing me to that resource.  It looks awesome!

    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Salthouser
      I have only used bioblitzes as an informal educator. They were great fun, and participants reported they learned from the "expert" that was part of their observation team. One of my colleagues was planning on doing the Globe Observer: Mosquito Habitat Mapper. She was going to have our county vector control educational staff come in to explain the various mosquito borne diseases that occurred in our region, and how to identify those mosquitoes. The event was also going to provide directions and materials to make a catcher for setup at home. Once mosquitoes were caught, observations could be uploaded to the website. This would be a great family project, especially since the Phoenix, AZ area is seeing more mosquitoes carrying disease. Several questions could be asked: Why is the region seeing more mosquitoes carrying different diseases? Which mosquitoes will I find around my house? Our library also had a CoCoRaHS precipitation gauge installed outside. We had a couple of volunteers who helped take readings, but unfortunately we didn't get a lot of interest from the community to participate. The library staff is making the necessary data entries.  I have been personally been providing observation information to the Great Pollinator Project, and thing would be a good group project, especially if there is a time to plant, and grow sunflowers. I am certainly learning about my new environment; from the dry, and hot desert to the wet, and cool Pacific Northwest. For either a formal or informal education setting, I would make sure there are a variety of flowering plants to observe over the time it takes the sunflowers to bloom. From my own experience, a variety of plants would provide a good range of different pollinators to observe.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      jmckenna
      I have participated in Budburst Buddies with my kindergarten students. We select a tree to observe in the schoolyard and observe it four times throughout the school year. The students record their observations in their journals and then I enter the data online. I only see the students once per week so for me the 4 times per school year is very manageable. If I was a classroom teacher, I would have the students observe more often.   My advice would be to start small and do what you can without stretching yourself. Choose a project based on your current science curriculum and student interests so it easy "fits in" to your schedule. My students are too young to input their own data but I input it on the smart board so they can be part of the process.
    • Nini
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      Ninich
      I have not participated in any citizen-science with learners.  In thinking about the population I work with, I think that finding the student's interest is most important as well as what is reasonable to investigate in the time that I work with them.  I'm reflecting back to my work during remote learning and one thing I did with one student was to track the weather using a calendar to record sun, rain, wind, snow, etc.  I think that extending this to report our findings and to possibly include other students with this could be an exciting first step.  My other exposure to kids is as the recess monitor.  Many of the kids approach me when they find something from nature whether it is a track, or animal, or plant of interest.  I will continue to monitor this level of inquiry and see if I can steer their interest or collaborate with a classroom teacher to further investigation.  The citizen-science spotlights include many specific programs which I intend to look into further to boost my own resources.
      • Jessica
        Participant
        Chirps: 27
        jmckenna
        I think choosing a project based on student interest is a wonderful idea. If it is something they are interested and invested in, they are more likely to continue participating in the project outside of the classroom.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 41
      Acorn Woodpecker
      Using citizen science a great way to engage students and adults.  When students conduct citizen science projects, they gain personal knowledge of organisms and/or  natural areas where they live.  This experience can create life long bonds and build stewardships values with the students.  In working as an educational specialist/naturalist at a park district for a number of years, I used NestWatch, Project FeederWatch and the Frog Survey.  I enlisted volunteers to assist with these projects.  These CS projects have specific protocols and reporting procedures that can easily be learned and used.  In addition, each project can be easily adapted to the classroom to allow students to conduct the work with little teacher guidance.  I primarily, worked with young adults and adults with these three CS programs. College students and adults seeking community service hours as conservation stewards often volunteered. Sometimes, parents participated  with their children. High School students were required to dedicate time through community service as well.   Volunteers were asked to learn the protocol of each program and then sign up for time or assignment to conduct the work.     The park district had a bluebird trail.  Volunteers were needed to check and monitor the nest boxes annually during the nesting cycle.  Volunteers adopted boxes and checked them regularly during the nesting cycle.  NestWatch provided instructions and many learning opportunities along with a reporting format.  The data collected through NestWatch helped inform park stewardship management, it was also reported on a database accessible to researchers plus, the data was valuable for work reporting in general.  Project FeederWatch became an activity that elevate the importance of feeders at park nature centers.  Many nature centers have feeders for visitors to view.  Project FeederWatch provides a protocol to collect metrics about the birds using the feeders.  Project FeederWatch  involves STEM.  Students can evaluate the birds that regularly visit the feeders, count and graph their numbers and their presence.  FeederWatch provides opportunities  for students to explore and experiment. Additionally FeederWatch maintains records annually which helps researchers track changes and trends in bird populations over time.  Frog Survey was a survey done in the spring through the state department of natural resources.  Volunteers learned the songs of local frogs and visited specific areas and reporting on the species calling and rated their numbers based of the volume of the choruses.  This information was reported to the state department of natural resource which provided an annual report for the entire state.    Our local watershed council provides a learning opportunity twice a year for students to monitor streams within the watershed.  This program is called Stream leaders.  I worked with high school students monitoring a stream for a number of years.  They visited the stream in the spring and the fall.  The students collected physical, chemical and biological data at the site.  The data were reported to the local watershed.  For the teacher, this was her favorite activity.   Through Audubon, I have participated in the Christmas Bird Count for a number of years.  It is a historical CS program which was started in 1899.  The data collected through the CBC has informed bird conservation for years.  Audubon also has another program called Climate Watch which looks at target species and their presence in a area in the winter and spring.  Participation in these CS project enriches and informs student lives. They  are  doing active science and contributing to conservation while learning.
    • Alana
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      C.cyaneus
      These are all wonderful ideas. I'm so happy there are ones that a Canadian can participate in! My family has been a big observer of feeder watch and enjoys frequently popping in on the live birds cams to see "who" is out and about. IT's a wonderful idea to use it as a citizen science project and one that can be done virtually.
    • Antoinette
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      ahatzop
      I have not completed a citizen science project, but this gives me great ideas!  We used a courtyard area to have the students plant a garden of plants native to Long Island to attract our own pollinators.  The plants are thriving, and we have our own milkweed bugs,  butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs and more.  All our K-2 students have nature journals and along with our STREAM teachers, we can contribute to at least two or three citizen science projects.  The children will have a deeper connection in their science world.
    • Alaina
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      AlainaYoung
      I have run birding hikes using eBird and Merlin, and stewardship volunteer trainings using iMapInvasives. iMapInvasives is an awesome program, but needs to be supplemented with species identification training or iNaturalist/Seek in order to record observations. I suggest a classroom/office space training on the app or program itself, coupled with in-the-field component where they can actually test out and use the app. This program can either be done in one half-day, or over two days (with the classroom app training as optional). While I am an informal educator, this could easily be adapted into the classroom.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 41
        Acorn Woodpecker
        Sounds very cool.  I would like to know more about iMapInvasives.  There is the MISIN program which is limited to the Midwest, but has a species identification program.   You might want to look at this program.
      • Sara
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        SaraPi
        I agree with you Alaina, a classroom setting is helpful when reviewing how to use the app. I've led indoor training sessions for adults on how to use the iNat app followed by a nature walk to practice adding projects and observations. I'm in Florida and we have an FWC invasive tracker but honestly, I just use iNaturalist as it has a much larger user base. The state designed tracker is clunky, doesn't allow the user to see a state-wide map of observations, and doesn't look like many people actually use it. Not sure if that's true of iMapInvasives but I'll for sure check it out!
    • Kristen Mae
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      kmaecarpenter
      Since I am not consistently with my students (usually only single visits), it is sometimes hard to get them involved in citizen science. We provide resources to different citizen science projects to the teachers to encourage their participation. I would love to find ways to get kids involved for at least the short time I see them. If I can get them to be enthusiastic during their time with me, maybe they will continue participating in the project on their own.
      • Sara
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        SaraPi
        Kristen, for the majority of our programs I too only see students for a few hours over a single visit. One project that works well for us is the Biocube project. We then log our observations using iNatualist. Also, ChronoLog is an easy to use CS project that might work for you - to get involved you snap a photo of a specified site and upload your pic to submit for time lapse projects. Our center just partnered with ChronoLog and it was under $100 to get the gear and get on their site. We previously started our own time lapse project and just a few months later ChronoLog reached out to us to partner. It's been a super easy and afforadble way to engage visitors in CS.
    • Edna
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      wvteacher87
      I have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count years ago.  It looks like e-Bird has amazing resources for personal and/or educational opportunities for my students.  I would like to investigate e-Bird in more detail and also I am very interested in Project Bird Feeder.  Our school has a garden that we could easily install bird feeders for types of birds in our area, and start am amazing project to pique student interest.
    • Kathy Nerdy Birdies
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      kbalman
      I have used Project Feeder Watch, Budburst, CoCoRaHS and Lost Ladybug with learners, as well as many others. My biggest suggestion is to make sure you know your ecosystem before choosing a project. For example I am still kinda new to AZ and had listed Lost Ladybug project as an option for our citizen science project last year for our K-3rd graders. I was still learning about our ecosystem and when things begin to bloom, become active, etc. They chose LLP as the one to participate in, however ladybugs don't start showing up in  AZ late spring, so it was not a good option for the school year. I do CoCoRaHS with my family and the teens in our program however, this is probably not one younger students would enjoy if you live in an arid state, because they won't be logging much data since it doesn't rain much. I think when choosing the project it is important to find one that will be engaging and get the kids excited about participating in citizen science, so knowing your ecosystem and students interests will be very helpful.
      • Kandis
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Kandis+1
        Thanks for the suggestion, we always want to do so much but as you pointed out we need to know our ecosystem and the correct timing to do science to make it meaningful!
    • Veronica
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      vhorton
      A few years back I participated in the Urban Birds Citizen Science Project with a group of second graders. My school is located in the Bronx, NY in a neighborhood with mostly playgrounds and very little green park space. The students and I walked to a nearby playground/park to do weekly observations of what types of birds were in the neighborhood and how many could be seen at certain periods of time. The students learned a lot while collecting the data and gained an appreciation for pigeons, sparrows, and starlings. They were seeing these birds everyday but made no connections until we participated in the study. My advice to anyone who wants to participate in any kind of citizen science activities is to plan ahead.  Keep in mind what you expect students to learn from the experience. Know where you will go and what is in the immediate area, anticipate problems in general as well as what you think students might find challenging.  Be prepared with materials, permission slips, clipboards etc.  Finally, build in time for students to share, reflect, react. This activity can lead to others.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      maroberts64
      I have not used any citizen-science projects in the past but I would very much like to start. Reading about all of the many citizen science opportunities available kind of makes me want to do more than I probably should! I definitely would like to investigate weather through CoCoRaHS or one of the other weather projects. I can see how this could be done easily from the classroom, and how it could possibly be compared to another classroom in another part of the country. I can see using tools and data with visual observations, and learning patterns and how to predict weather using the data we collect. I like the FeederWatch project to spot and identify birds, but I wonder if we would be able to dedicate the time necessary without it becoming a distraction for the other parts of our learning. As a (former, hopefully future) beekeeper, I am also interested in MLMP through a school pollinator/milkweed garden. This would also give us the opportunity to observe the lifecycle of a monarch. Finally, Budburst holds the same fascination for me to plants as some of the other projects do to animal life. Particularly, for me, how plants change through the year in central Florida compared to the more defined and extreme differences of plants through the seasons in Ohio.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 25
        Curious621
        So many good suggestions in all of these posts!  I will need to make a master list and explore them all!  Thanks for the suggestions.
    • Kandis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Kandis+1
      With my position I try as much as possible to link youth to Cornell University and the research happening.  I have had youth in Rensselaer County participate in citizen science projects such as helping monitor the black cutworm and armyworm as part of our NYS IPM insect trapping network with Agronomist, Aaron Gabriel. I have a teen working on The Effects of a Nitrogen Strip on a Field with the NMSP team at Cornell University, headed by Professor Quirine Ketterings He has been cleaning harvest yield data from the past  4 years this last winter in order to find an area that is classified as a stable low yield area. This spring he will plant corn on those fields and implement the nitrogen strip so that it helps the stable low yield areas while not losing any productivity of the stable high yield areas and reduce waste and runoff by applying it in this fashion. He will gather results throughout the growing season and harvest. iNaturalist- we have set up an account to work with our Environmental Center (Dyken Pond) so that youth and adults can track their findings while out exploring and ask questions along the way. We have tracked 9spotted lady bugs in the past with the Lost Lady Bug Project. Collected soil for Susan Hoskins, for the Institute for Resource Information Sciences, Soil and Crop Sciences, School of Integrative Plant Science. Most of these projects are a one time opportunity that was suggested through the Cooperative Extension System.  I am excited to learn more about the ongoing programs available.
    • Smriti
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Smriti Safaya
      The main CS projects (all have had field components to them) I've used have been:
      • "CoastalWatch" created by our local WWF NGO in Hong Kong to measure coastal biodiversity and marine waste in a Grade 9 interdisciplinary geo-science project for the last 5 years.
      • "iNaturalist" as an introduction during our annual 'GreenWeek' and environmental club/Roots & Shoots club events (for students in Grades 4 -> 12) to consider urban biodiversity and ask questions about biodiversity abundance, seasonality, habitats, etc.
      • a community mapping project (just used Google MyMaps for plotting and sharing the data spatially) that identified various needs of community stakeholders through interviews and observations, analyzed the plotted data, considered potential solutions, and presented them to district council members (all done in one full day) - this was done with students in Grades 6 - 8.
      • "CoralWatch" measuring the health of corals during a snorkelling activity (as part of a larger geography field trip) in a particular bay that was impacted by agricultural run-off, human recreational activities, nearby mangroves, etc., using a colour chart, and comparing it with previous data from the same area to study coral health change over time (with Grade 12 students).
      Suggestions/advice (quick short list, there is lots more):
      • always do a recce trip with the teachers to determine feasibility of the project in that field location (especially if you plan on using any tech like smartphones, etc.)
      • break the methodology down to clear instructions and give roles to students doing data collection in groups
      • depending on time, you could rotate roles so students can experience learning related to the various data collection roles
      • practice the methods/data collection with students (even a mock set-up in the classroom is fine) before doing the real thing
      • Edna
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        wvteacher87
        I appreciate the suggestions.  I like the idea of a mock set-up for practice.  I have also used parent volunteers to help with small groups.  The volunteers encourage collaboration and help students with time management.  I teach fourth graders and attention spans can affect completion of tasks.  Yes, I think clear instructions and assigning roles would increase student involvement.
      • Smriti
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Smriti Safaya

        @Edna Hi Edna, I really like the idea of parental involvement, however it's been harder to get for my students (I teach in secondary school), and then there are the parent-student dynamics which teenagers usually want to avoid.  Plus, with recent implementation of child safety laws, we've now can't use parental volunteers until they've done police conviction checks (which is an added obstacle when getting volunteers).  I'd still love to see how we could get more school community collaboration and support!

      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 41
        Acorn Woodpecker
        These are great ideas and applications.  It sounds like you have given your instruction and implementation a great deal of thought.  Do the student really like your classes?  They sound extremely interesting and experiential.  Thank you.
      • Smriti
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Smriti Safaya

        @Kathleen Thank you so much, Kathleen - that is very kind of you to say.  I'm a firm believer of "if I'm not excited about what's going on in the courses I teach, then neither are the students".   This is what drives me to keep adapting and refreshing what I do in education.  The pitfall is that my brain often doesn't "shut off" since there is always more to research, learn, try, observe (even when I'm out and about) and that eats up lots of my personal time.  I've been very bad at the 'work-life balance' thing for all my 13 years teaching - haha!! How do you manage?

    • Annette
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      AnnetteSteele
      I have not completed any citizen science projects with students. Over the last few years, we have completed Journey North which tracks the migration of Monarchs and logged their return from winter migration sites.  However, this was more for information purposes rather than students playing an active role in investigations. I am interested in  completing soil sampling around our school by specifically looking at insects as a indicator of healthy soils and  also air quality concerning the idling cars in our carpool lane. I think the most important  aspect is to have a community partner to help  understand which data is needed to be collected and  how it will be used. Students need to  know that their work is impactful and can make a difference in their community.  Real world application and student interest,  are to me, the most important factors when choosing a project to participate in.
      • Jessica
        Participant
        Chirps: 27
        jmckenna
        "Students need to  know that their work is impactful and can make a difference in their community.  Real world application and student interest,  are to me, the most important factors when choosing a project to participate in." Beautifully said!
    • Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      DeannaW
      We have dabbled with citizen science project over the years including terrapin projects with the National Aquarium, DNR projects (yellow perch, horseshoe crab, sunfish, and shad), counting penguins, Project Budburst, collecting macro-invertebrates, and Globe cloud. I have not done any on monarchs (other than tagging) as we do collect, hatch, and tag monarchs. I also want to do more with birds as the students can experience a life long activity.
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      MIFRANKO88
      We have not used any specific citizen science programs in our high school classroom. We had a plan for this spring to engage the students using eBird. We were able to obtain a class set of binoculars in order to do so. I believe the more the students can connect with the direct natural environment they live in is always beneficial. Our school district has urban-like areas that students live in and then completely wooded, secluded areas that students live in. Having them connect with their environment will allow them to care more about the state and wellbeing of their environment. Our plan for this year was to have students make a field guide of their school grounds that can be passed on from class to class each year. Overtime, we thought it would be interesting to see the changes that occur especially since we have new construction happening soon in our district. I think it would be a great addition to the project to find a citizen science program to go with each subgroup (invertebrates, plants/trees, birds, mammals) for the students to pursue.
      • Nini
        Participant
        Chirps: 32
        Ninich
        I love your idea of creating a field guide of the school grounds that can be passed from class to class.  This is wonderful.  How did you fund your purchase of classroom set of binoculars?  Did you get a chance to use them? Did you allow them to be signed out for use at home?
    • Dianne
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      dhaley1
      Unfortunately, I have not used any of the citizen-science projects with my students.  However, I look forward to incorporating some of them to my daily classrooms or to an after school group.  At my school, we have large windows and  we have a beautiful courtyard with a working pond.  I would like to try the Project Feeder Watch, Monarch Larva Monitoring and/or Project BudBurst.  I think these projects will be fun and interesting, and will allow my students to work in pairs to observe, identify and record data.  The best part is getting outside and experience nature!  I also know many of my previous students who will love these activities.  I would love to start an after school science club and have some of my older previous students mentor my younger students.
      • Mark
        Participant
        Chirps: 25
        maroberts64
        I like your idea of an after-school club - I've thought about that myself, to give more time to students who want to be involved with a project like that. There are restrictions in the classroom to work around (not impossible, just more difficult), but a Science club is definitely on my radar :)
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      michelle_quezada
      I have not participated in a citizen science project but plan to in the future. I noticed that the citizen science projects align with student inquiry projects. Two that I would love to incorporate into my course are Celebrate Urban Birds and Project Feeder Watch. Both projects lend themselves to having student engage in observations and identification of species. After submitting our observations I plan for students to come up with their own questions to investigate based off of their observations. They would then work in groups to create a procedure to help them answer the question, analyze their results and share their findings.
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      jdelwood
      I have not participated in a formal citizen science project with my students.  I have encouraged my students to observe their natural surroundings.  My students and I have taken time during class outings to spend time observing and discussing the species that we were seeing around us.  Part of my purpose in doing this was to introduce my students to the idea of stopping to notice what was around them and to begin to appreciate their natural surroundings. As I look at the many different citizen science projects described in this reading, I believe a project like FeederWatch would be best for my students.  I am currently teaching in an urban setting and will take advantage of the fact that birds can be found in most settings.  I hear birds singing each morning as I arrive at school.  Birds are in the communities where my students live.  There might even be an opportunity to install a bird feeder just outside our classroom window for student observations.  Students will not need any special equipment to begin keeping record of the birds they see as they go about their day.  This will be the best way for me to introduce a citizen science project to my students.  Making the project as simple as possible in their day should result in the highest rate of student participation and student enjoyment.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      alrichardson
      I have never done a citizen-science project.  After reading through the material for this session I am very excited to try something like this with my class next year.  In all honesty I have never heard of any of these types of projects and the idea that my first graders can help scientists is fascinating to me!  We study birds a bit in our two science bundles "Animal Parts and Survival" and "Protecting the Young & Animal Trait Inheritance and Variation."  I would love to incorporate the citizen science project called The Great Backyard Bird Count.  This would be such an awesome experience for students and their families. From February 12th-15th this coming winter (2021) any participant is encouraged to tally the number and kinds of birds that they see during a 15 minute period of time.  You can observe for one of the designated days or all four of them.  February 12th falls on a Friday so this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce this citizen science project and explain how to participate.  Using the Seesaw family communication app,  I could send a video and link to the site to inform families about this awesome opportunity.  With Covid 19 and the uncertainty of what school will look like throughout the 2020-2021 year this is a project that students could do from home and that I would be able to explain through distance learning if needed.
      • Michelle
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        michelle_quezada
        I like how you are opening it up to be a family activity. I hadn't thought about that but definitely see how it would benefit both students and parent engagement.
      • Dianne
        Participant
        Chirps: 31
        dhaley1
        Yes, I also like your idea of opening it up to the family.  It makes me pause and want to brainstorm more ideas to support learning from home...just in case, we are still teaching and learning home in the fall of 2020.
    • Vanessa
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      CPAWS-Education
      We have used the following: eBird & BumblebeeWatch. I don't have any big advice to give at the moment.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 41
        Acorn Woodpecker
        Can you elaborate on your experience with Bumblebee watch? I want to know more :).
    • Elisabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      evhartman
      While we haven't yet done a citizen-science project with learners, we would like to incorporate citizen science to evaluate & monitor pockets of wildlife living in the more urban areas of our city so that we may use that information to tailor future outreach programs relaying the importance of native wildlife and how to co-exist. This would be more of a community project, rather than one with just students/children, and would be longitudinal in nature, observational.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LauraYoung
      I have not yet used any citizen-science projects with my learners. I am interested in Project Budburst and Project Feederwatch. We have unused raised beds at our school, and I am in really interested in incorporating more gardening into our science activities. I think Project Budburst would be a great way for students to develop their observation skills in a meaningful way. I am also thinking about ways to incorporate citizen science projects into distance learning, and I think Project Feederwatch might be a fun way for my students to do this.
      • Elisabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        evhartman
        Distance learning is something I really hadn't thought of, but really is a perfect way to connect & foster relationships with those we don't or can't see on a regular basis. It would work well particularly for us since at this time we don't have an onsite learning facility/area.
      • Deanna
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        DeannaW

        @Elisabeth Good thinking---I like the idea of getting the families involved backyard birding and citizen science especially with distance learning.

    • Taylor
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      TSimon95
      I have done a few citizen-science projects with my outdoor camp learners, including; MonarchWatch, FrogWatch Ontario, TurtleWatch Ontario, and MilkweedWatch (most of these are Canadian as I live in Canada). What I love about these projects is that it makes children feel that they are contributing to conservation science in addition to having them engage more in the environment around them. My advice for doing citizen-science is to ask your learners what they are interested in learning about, and find citizen-science projects based on those topics. This will engage the learners more actively, and they will likely be more excited to participate if it is based on their topics of interest. It is also an easy way to engage children who don't think they are interested/care about science because they actually get to participate and see how accessible it can be to them as well.
      • Johanna
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        jdelwood
        You offer some good advice.  Thank you!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      NRGregory
      I have participated in  both Nature's Notebook and The Great Backyard Bird Count with students.  We have a Nature's Notebook phenology trail at the arboretum where I work. I find the project really useful and have tried to share the importance of citizen science with the students I have lead thru the trail.  One issue I had with this project was the lack of WiFi throughout our grounds. It has been about 5 years since I lead a middle school home school class thru the trail. I ended up printing off lots of important ID info from the website on each specimen.  We tried to collect the data to submit later but really it would have been much better to use a smart phone and do in real time (as I have done on my own).  Now, in 2020, this may be a very fun and engaging citizen science class- it would be much easier to get my hands on several tablets/smartphones! Unfortunately, I only see these students once, but I feel they can be given the exposure and tools to carry on with their observations and data submissions as a family whenever they visit our grounds- or set up an observation in their own yard!   Spark the interest! After an initial common bird ID introduction, lessons using e-bird and the GBBC have been loads of fun!  I would recommend this citizen science project to all. My students and I have watched feeders and compiled data.  We have not, for lack of time, elaborated on the projects into true inquiry: asking questions, experimenting and all the rich discussion that follows. I have shared the websites with these groups of students so they may continue on with the projects but would like to find a way to go deeper within the 90 minutes class.  Maybe a series of programs/classes on consecutive weeks/Saturdays with home school students is needed?  Try to incorporate more of these projects in our 1 week summer day camps? Again, not a school year worth of inquiry but a bit more than I am able with the groups coming to my location on a sporadic basis.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 41
        Acorn Woodpecker
        I really like the idea of a nature journal.  This is a great assessment tool.  When you think about some of the great naturalists, they all drew and journaled.  The concept of phenology spans time.  Since you only have a snapshot of time with students - is their something that they can take away to continue their learning after their short time with you. Can you invite the students to return to complete a journal with their parents to see something on the trail during a different time of the year.  Perhaps, these journals can be showcased at an event where students can share with others.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lsiepker
      I have not yet done a citizen science project hence my desire to take this course and learn more! I think a citizen science project would work great as an after-school program or with boy and girl scouts or other youth organizations. I've never done a citizen science project in my classroom mainly due to time constraints. However, after looking through the citizen science projects above, the time commitments seem reasonable so I'm going to do one! I especially like the Monarch larva and BudBurst projects!
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        alrichardson
        Hi Liz, I have never done a citizen science project either and agree with you that time can certainly be a factor.  I also agree that the time that these projects take do seem like they would work and I'm excited to try some too!  I was looking into the Monarch Lava project as well and that looks like a great one! We have an after school program at our school called Kids Club.  I absolutely love your suggestion that these types of projects could be incorporated into their program.  There are so many different types of citizen science projects to choose from and multiple ones could be done at the same time.  Our school has a flower/butterfly garden out back and walking trails close to the school that would be perfect to conduct many of these projects.  Thank you so much for that great idea!  I'm excited to discuss this with the Kids Club supervisor this fall.
    • Holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      hrdevault
      We have a grant funded pollinator project, and I would love to use one of the invertebrate projects like Great Sunflower Project or Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project. There is a garden space at the elementary school I visit that would be perfect for these projects. I visit every few weeks for the entire school year, so these projects would fit well with my curriculum
      • Liz
        Participant
        Chirps: 15
        lsiepker
        I too like the larvae monitoring project. I think if you can get a stand of milkweed growing this would be an excellent backyard habitat project to do on school grounds.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      acatt1920
      I love the Citizen Spotlight on Mammals! Recently at my school, we installed a trail cam in our wooded area to study what animals were is this habitat. So far, we discovered numerous rabbit, squirrel, opossum, various birds and even a stray cat! Up until now, I've been the one checking the cam and then reporting to students what we "caught on camera". However, after reading these ideas I think this would be the perfect opportunity to get my students further invovled. Students could make predictions on what animals they think live in this habitiat, and even help me reqularly check the cam and record data based on what we "caught on camera". We could then further varify our findings by searching for signs/evidence of the animals such as scat, tracks or leftover food. I can't wait to get the students more invovled!
      • Mark
        Participant
        Chirps: 25
        maroberts64
        That sounds like a great opportunity in your schoolyard! Jealous!
      • Nini
        Participant
        Chirps: 32
        Ninich
        How often did you check your trail cam?  If your students do it, how often do you expect to check it?  I have acquired a trail cam and captured a couple of moose walking on the trail, but would like to place it out again to see what else we can 'capture'.
Viewing 56 reply threads