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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Reflect on the three teaching practices UC Davis recommends for teachers to use to maximize youth learning with citizen science. Which of these practices do you wish to model in your teachings and how?
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    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      ABloch01
      Like many others have stated, I want to model "position youth as people who do science".  I think kids don't realize that science is something that everybody can do - if you explore, make observations, and record data, you too can be a science.  I'm hoping with incorporating more citizen science projects, I can really get my students doing the science and shifting away from some of the cookie-cutter labs.
    • Frank
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      fduross
      The practice I took interest in was "position youth as people who do science".  In my limited experience with CS projects, I think I have leaned too heavily into the notion that students are providing data to scientists to analyze.  After reading the article, it is clear that this takes the students out of the equation.  Reframing these activities so that the students are the ones using the data can be a powerful and motivating shift.  I hope to do better in this regard in the coming school year.
      • Ashley
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        ABloch01
        I have run into this too.  Hoping to make the change this school year!
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      jambud
      This article was fantastic to read. I had only ever been assigning citizen science projects to students for them to do on their own with very little support in the classroom. I think this is why I never saw students very motivated about the projects. Instead of the students reporting on the project as a whole experience, having them report and share the actual work they did would be a tremendous shift. We had previously had students reporting to a larger audience which was helpful. Lastly, although my personal preference would be to have students engage in ecological projects, it isn't always where their interests are.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Laura Schofield
      For me, both , "Take ownership of quality data" and "Attend to the unexpected" are the two practices Iwhere would like to focus this year. By modeling quality data, showing examples of data and having students analyze these examples of data as to whether or not it is usable data and why; sets my students up to be reflective and have more agency and the background to be successful scientists. Also, by giving students time to practice the skills needed to collect quality data, a way of collaborating data for consistency. By being well planned, knowing exactly the student learning goals for the day, how I will measure student progress towards these goals, pre-teaching skills students will need to be successful - including prior skills, knowledge, social skills, using materials, describing roles; this will allow me to better be prepared to capitalize on the "unexpected moments." The idea of being a "co learner" with my students is the pivot science educators need to make to prepare 21st century learners.
      • Maria (Dede)
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        dpander37
        I agree with you about "take ownership of quality data".  It is important for students to understand that the data they share is important and being used in the scientific community.  They definitely need to practice good data collection skills.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      SueWatts
      I am in the process of Fall programming and this has given me lots to think about. We try and do all these things. I model wonder, inquiry well (I think) and we talk a lot about being scientists. I am less good at being a good scientist - I have not been trained as a scientist and I find it hard to be focused and patient enough to collect data for an extended period of time. I think it would be a good experience for me and the Junior Naturalists to pick a CS Project as thread through our meetings this fall.  Much of our focus is on our Natural Heritage Trail which is South Carolina based, we are on a university campus, so perhaps there might be a science project we can help with, connecting South Carolina to the global context would be very valuable but we specialize in the local.
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      laurenscull
      Our programs seek to model all 3 of UC Davis' teaching practices.   1. Position youth as people who do science. -- I start our environmental education programs by saying, "Today, you are scientists". We talk about what it means to be a scientist and what jobs we need to do that day to show that we are scientists. 2. Attend to the unexpected. -- Any program where we head out into the woods is bound to have unexpected leaps. A deer may pop out, we may find jelly ear mushrooms on a log as we climb over, there could be salamanders hiding under a rock near the vernal pool, etc. I encourage learners to stop and look at whatever interests us (within reason for time restraints) and to question why it's there and what it does. We may also go out and find nothing! 3. Frame the work locally and globally. -- We promote native species since they are our local species and we want kids to have ties with our local environment. I'd like to work more on connecting globally through citizen science -- hence why I'm here!
    • Austin
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      austinkennedy612
      1. Position youth as people who do science. Specifically with teenagers who's brains are as a cognitive stage of self focus, teens want to be believe they are making a difference due to their actions. We allow teens to engage curiosity from day one and we don't often offer answers for their questions, we offer guidance and more resources. We educate as if every teen is an 'explorer in the making' to make sure we drive their curiosity NOT stifle it. Teenagers want to feel satisfaction and empowerment through their actions, and this is what our citizen science project allows them to feel. 2. Frame the work globally and locally. Our teen program travels around the nation and the world focusing on just this! We also educate in a way that allows all teens to look as conservation from a local, regional, national, and global perspective. We focus a lot on humane education which allows our teens to gain and improve empathy for cultures around the world as we tackle tough conservation topics. 3. Attend to the unexpected. My team and I are experts at attending the unexpected! We are in a non-formal, informal education realm and we thrive on the unexpected. If something changes course due to a students passion or drive of curiosity we will change courses as often as we need to to fan the flame. Our teens are used to not being given the answers from us so that practice also takes the shock away from the unexpected, but that's the state we all focus on.
      • Maria (Dede)
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        dpander37
        I agree that "positioning youth as people who do science" is very important.  The students often feel that they are asked to do work with no purpose.
    • Jon Javier
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      jagjavier
      Of the three key educator practices that the UC Davis recommends for teachers to use to engage students in the scientific practices through citizen science the one that I am most likely to use as a model is 'framing the work globally and locally'. I am drawing from my experience when, ten years back to my responsibility as a teacher in Philippine Science High School - Main Campus, I fully realized how lucky the stakeholders are (especially students and teachers) that of the 17 acre lot 60% of that are aggregated green space with wildlife (trees, birds, invertebrates, etc.). Compare these resources that we have to other public high schools (even other science high schools) in the metropolitan area whose available open space if ever they have is but concreted. Basically what we have is a living outdoor laboratory.  There is truth in the statement that one cannot protect (or conserve) something that one does not know they have (until realizing it is lost or in the critical state of being lost). Imagine the value of being able to host at least 40 plus species of birds and still counting (resident and migratory). Even if not globally, if I can frame an endeavor that is linked to a citizen science project that is both nationally and locally meaningful then that would really be something to the learners.
      • Bridget
        Participant
        Chirps: 31
        BridgetL
        What a tremendous resource to have such an amazing open space for students to be able to investigate!  I agree that until someone realizes what they have there is not that drive to protect/conserve it.  Your comments have made me pause and think about the importance of 'framing the work globally and locally' to ensure student scientists realize that not every other place on earth is like the place they exist in.
    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      AprilWhitehead
      Of the educator key practices, I think that "position youth as people who do science" is the most important concept for my classroom and students. Our student population is mostly students of color, and we have many students with low socioeconomic status as well as English language learners.  I want to reinforce the idea that anyone can and should do science, despite the prevalence of mostly male and mostly white scientists and engineers. Hopefully, in guiding my elementary students through the process of gathering and reporting data to help support scientific research, they will see themselves as active citizen scientists who can pursue science education in the upper grades, through college and career.
      • Austin
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        austinkennedy612
        April - wonderful work, it's so important to reinforce that nature is for EVERYONE and you are helping them get there. Do you keep in contact with them down the line after they've left to see if they have continued in that field at all?
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      restendahl
      I think I model all three practices which are "sharing findings with outside audiences, youth taking ownership of data quality, and interacting with complex social ecological systems." When I take students out water quality monitoring they are responsible for the quality of the data, have to run the tests repeatedly to make sure they are at least precise in their answers, work as a group to make sure they aren't making large mistakes in the process to get good results and then go out and do the testing again a few months later and compare their results to their previous results. They are then invited to a large conference like gathering to share their data with local environmental professionals and students from other schools. I also frame every science issue as part of a bigger complex social ecological system and make sure that the students understand that everything is related.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Sci8Lilly
      Many students don’t appreciate how much science affects their everyday lives and everything they do.  Their world is full of quick-fixes and instant results and science doesn’t work that way.  I strive to position my students as people who do science and learn to appreciate the significant role that it plays in everything they do.  It is important for them to realize that it is essential to take the time to plan, be accurate, and consistent in their methods.  By participating in citizen science projects, they learn the real and purposeful uses for scientific investigation.
      • Maria (Dede)
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        dpander37
        I agree that students often "don't understand how science affects their everyday  lives".  Citizen Science projects can help students recognize science around them and the affect it has on all of us everyday.
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      kmichellehowell
      After watching the video and reading the article, I of course want to make sure to follow all the teacher practices, but I think the big thing for me is to frame the work globally and locally. I have noticed in the brief time I have been the librarian at my school that my learners are well-versed in things that affect the local community, but have little knowledge/understanding about how the same things can be happening on a larger scale. I believe that citizen-science projects can help us bridge that gap in their understanding of global issues.
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        AmySenn
        I agree that making the connection locally and globally gives a greater sense of purpose to the science being done.  I feel like we as humans do not always recognize that we are a part of the world and nature...not just an observer.
    • Russell
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      rfriedman1212
      I personally feel I exemplify all three UC Davis teaching practices in my educational programming. Right off the bat we encourage our learners to question the natural world around them. We allow them to embrace their passions and curiosities and develop research opportunities around the topics they are most interested in. We don't follow any structured curriculum or state standards, instead we let our learners guide our educational teachings, providing them with a platform to become their own expert. When we embrace these curiosities, we enforce our learner's passions to research and inspire them to want to learn more. They are already scientists just by asking questions and making simple observations, even if they don't realize it right away. When it comes to attending the unexpected, I feel this is a tool that every educator should develop in their toolbox. To be able to embrace teaching moments and adjust programming on the fly can help spark unexpected wonders. I feel another component though is to be able to still connect and redirect the "unexpected" back to the original topic, thus, coming back full circle reinforcing the idea that everything can be connected. It is also important to never shut down a learner's curiosity towards something. If a student gets distracted outside by a plant or animal, roll with it. See how you can connect it to your topic at hand instead of shutting that student down and trying to get their attention back on your subject. Acknowledging those wonders can be just as beneficial as sharing the information itself. And for the third practice of framing the work both globally and locally, we do this in every aspect of our programming. Our facility's entire mission, which is deeply intertwined with all of our educational programming, seeks to connect our learners to the natural world locally, regionally and globally. We challenge students to question issues half a world away, to conduct reasearch and even compose solutions of their own. We bring our participants to local natural spaces to conduct studies, make observations and share their findings with local agencies, scientists and the community.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      mgerhardt
      All 3 would be great practices to incorporate. I would like to develop more independent reasoning in my students. Designing projects that allowed them to think globally and connect locally would be wonderful.   Allowing for the unexpected I  already try to do on a small scale.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      pricenj
      I think I am most interested in Interacting with complex social and ecological systems.  To me, this speaks to social justice, multispecies justice and community involvement.  From STEM Teaching Tool #74. Community science has great potential to increase the diversity of public participation in science and to support local flourishing. For that to happen, projects must reflect the diversity of communities and their concerns without reinforcing existing inequities in science and society.
    • Catia
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      catiawolff
      I plan to model how students could interact with complex ecological systems by having students investigate how varying independent variables effects dependent variables.  I plan to have them design experiments in which they can understand how a control is needed to establish a baseline.  Often, students have multiple independent variables which complicates understanding which change is really responsible for the response.  I plan on teaching students how changing one variable and keeping other variables constant is best in gathering reproducible data. Another important concept that I will instill in my students is that it is OK if your results do not support your hypothesis.  Students often feel that they did something wrong.  I have them explore variables that they did not account for and simply having them revisit their hypothesis and explore the unexpected.
      • Kristin
        Participant
        Chirps: 28
        KristinBlack829
        I see the same struggles in my students when recognizing the purpose and importance of a control and focusing on manipulating just one variable. I haven't figured out a great way to make that stick yet.
    • Elandriel
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      elandriellewis
      I think "attend to the unexpected" is the one I'd like to focus on the most in the early childhood space, though the other 2 definitely have their place as well.  Positioning inquiry as an activity where we don't always know the answer, including the teachers, creates more space for a-ha moments and pivoting to explore new questions.  Often with young children adults can assume that they definitely know more than the child about a topic.  If we leave space for uncertainty and be willing to capitalize on a child's discovery we can create more excitement and encourage further study.  I also loved how they mentioned creating space for failure.  When we start children young in understanding that science exploration is about learning something more rather than getting something right, and that mistakes and failures help us learn more, we are setting them up for incredible success in many areas in their future.
    • Lori
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      MPBirding
      I think it is so important to teach locally and connect globally. I teach middle school boys so it is important for them to be able to see some connection to their life to build a better understanding of what we are learning. I hope to continue to model this for my students to help them understand that what is happening in their lives and on a local level impacts the larger community and world. I want to continue to model this in the labs, readings, and activities that my students are engaged in.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      Martha gardenbird
      While all 3 of these are clearly important, I frequently find myself teaching locally and connecting globally. Teenagers, as we all know, are very self-centered, so the more we can make the learning both personal and global, the more their awareness is raised. For example, as part of our learning about forests we study wildfire and the kids do projects on Colorado forest fires. Since a fire did burn into the city, the kids are pretty interested, but also, we do fire modelling with match stick forest fires in peg-board plots which the kids love. Later, we look at other countries and the impacts of forest fire around the world. In another case of local/global connection, we look at water use in our city. The fact that we pump water up and over mountains is something the kids don't know. They also don't know that lots of kids cannot go to school because they must go collect water for the family. In this case, we look at water saving techniques and the kids become a bit more willing to conserve water.
    • Todd
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      CoreCyclones
      The three teaching practices UC Davis recommends are "sharing findings with outside audiences, youth taking ownership of data quality, and interacting with complex social ecological systems." The second one here, about students taking ownership of data quality, is something I wish to model and convey to my students. I think students become more intrinsically motivated when they do this, and thus, a better experience for the student (and the teacher).  As far as data quality goes, sometimes pairing the right students together for a project can improve that data quality. Some students would be motivated to try harder in such group work because they may feel more responsible for the project and not wan tot disappoint their peers.  Contributing in this way can make the experience more meaningful and create that sense of ownership.
      • Martha
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        Martha gardenbird
        Do you envision making the outside audience even bigger? I've often wondered about how to do this in a way that doesn't take up too much time from the classroom. The best I've done is have my various sections of biology compare data tables from one class to the next--looking at things they like and things that need improving.
    • Shelley
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Shelley_Metcalf
      There are two of the teaching practices I'd like to model during this next school year in our homeschool.  The first is the idea “positioning youth as people who do science.”  Up until now most of our science studies have been confirmation inquiry and structured inquiry and the idea of learning science.  As we focus more on guided inquiry and “doing” science, the emphasis on the fact that we can do science here at home can make our studies more relevant and meaningful. The second idea of “attending to the unexpected” is important to me and ties into the first idea because it allows for more freedom and true inquiry rather than just sticking to a curriculum/list of facts to learn. We tend to go down many rabbit trails in our study of history but not in science.  This idea could lead us to much more meaningful and student-led work in our science studies.
    • Darlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      DarleneKehn
      I would like to focus more on "attending to the unexpected".  I feel it is important to embrace the surprises that occur when conducting citizen science activities.  I think it also a good way to model the process of scientific inquiry through asking questions and promoting curiosity and understanding it's okay to not know everything.  Also, one of the best things about this practice is using these opportunities to develop interconnections within the scientific world.  I would like to do this more during local stream monitoring and then at A Day in the Life of the Hudson River.
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Mrs Studey
      One of my favorite science t-shirts says: "Some people dream of meeting their favorite scientist. I teach mine." I wear that shirt whenever possible to show my students that I think of them as scientists. I have also done the activity that Pam mentioned where students draw what they think a scientist is. Doing this before and after having students read and learn about real scientists is a very powerful activity. One takeaway from that activity is I see more students drawing themselves as the scientist instead of someone else. That's when I know it's making an impact on them. When students see that the work they're doing in citizen science can help scientists, they feel like their work is important. I also share with them a project I did in grad school where I used data from eBird and iNaturalist for my own work (study on lovebirds in Phoenix). I can give them a real, relevant example of how that data is used. So often, we have students who don't understand why they are learning a certain concept in school. When you can show them how their work impacts science both locally and globally, that can be the spark that gets them to understand the 'why'. I love showing students data on maps (eBird, CoCoRaHS, and iNaturalist are all great ways to do this). We can zoom in on our local data, but then we can also look at the bigger picture and do some comparing and contrasting of the data. The third teaching practice, 'attend to the unexpected', is what I think is the most challenging one to prepare for in teaching. It can be the most memorable and rewarding, too. Some of the best teachable moments I've had with my students involved seeing something unexpected. Usually, it leads us down a path of discovery where we all learn something. One of my best memories with this was when one of my 4th graders discovered a cicada shell on the fence in the schoolyard. I opened up my 'I Wonder' board to questions, and they came up with many that I couldn't answer. We took some time to do research to answer the questions, and this led to a mini lesson on cicadas! This year, I'm excited to have a full year in person with my 7th and 8th graders. I plan to build on what I've done in the past with citizen science and try to incorporate a little bit of each of these teaching practices along the way.
      • April
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        AprilWhitehead
        Kate, I have that shirt, too! :)
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      pkevans
      I try to instill in my students that they are scientists. A beginning of the year activity I have done (thank you BirdSleuth!) is to have the students draw a scientist. I usually get a lot of Bill Nye and men in lab coats blowing stuff up. When they draw their end of the year scientists, they draw themselves (or I hope they do!). Stream Discovery is a great way to do this because they are in the water, using scientific tools and exploring. We even get a hydrolab from the EPA (a very expensive piece of scientific equipment). I make sure to tell kids how much it costs ($70,000) and that it is something scientists really use. My 6th graders this year told me that their science up until 6th grade had been from a Weekly Reader type of packet. They were excited to "do" science. This year I am hoping to introduce them to biomes like the Amazon (I know a good teacher workshop through the MorphoNetwork if you are interested!), so that we can compare our location to theirs.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      lumpydave84
      The teaching practice that I most wish to model is the "Frame the work globally and locally".   This upcoming school year is the launch of brand new class for students where they will design, grow and plant native species into the school grounds.  The hope is to grow this program and have it spread throughout the school district and the community at large.  We want students to understand that their own backyards and the school itself can be an important piece of the natural world that benefits both wildlife and people.  That wildlife does not have to be far off and away but could be outside a classroom window.  That the school grounds can be living, breathing learning laboratories.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      BridgetL
      It is important to keep all three of the teaching practices in mind, and although I don't teach science this thinking is important in all subjects.  The one that I model and will continue to model is to allow the students to be the expert in the area of study.  I have found that too many students are apprehensive about sharing what they know due to being fearful of being incorrect.  It is so important for learners to be comfortable sharing ideas and information and to lead others. I know this will translate to interactions they have in other classes because their thinking, knowledge, voices are important!
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      binouser
      Living in the agriculture region of California, I always teach lessons on water conservation.  Students learn that they can make a positive impact by changing a few of the daily actions. They are always surprised to learn it is not just an adult issue.  They can help educate their family members about what they can do together to help. Teaching in a rural community, students often do not feel connected to the world.   “Frame the work globally and locally” to help them see why they need to learn and know about the topics.   Conserving water naturally leads to studying the effects of the ongoing drought.  It lets them be understand that are people who can make an impact on the world. I look forward to participating in Citizen Science to connect my students to a project and team them up with professional Scientists.
    • Kristin
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      KristinBlack829
      All of these practices are good!  If I had to pick one to focus on, I would say "frame the work globally and locally". This practice encourages us to meet kids "where they are at." I think it is important to focus locally because, depending on the project, the students can have an in-person, tangible experience with that organism or ecosystem. For the students who are somewhat indifferent about the environment or ecosystems, that real experience can sometimes be the hook for them to engage and take the project seriously. There's also a level of comfort when seeing something familiar. I like to expand those local connections with my students by focusing on something like migration. We might be observe a tree swallow here in the spring, but where does it go in the winter?  How might what is going on in the ecosystem while it lives here affect how it completes its migration?  What about the ecosystem where it migrates to? I also like to make our big world seem smaller, and those faraway, exotic places seem not so different. Comparing the organisms we observe in our local ecosystem to what is found in the same biome on another continent is always fun. You'll find many organisms that are quite similar.
    • Maria (Dede)
      Participant
      Chirps: 74
      dpander37
      I think that the first important teaching practice I would like to model is to "position youth as people who do science".  It is important to teach and show students how to record accurate data and observations.  Teaching the difference between observations and inferences is a great place to start.  This helps students to learn to separate actual observations from inferences about what they are observing and will allow them to better record quality data to share with scientists in the field.  "Framing the work globally and locally" means showing the interconnections with the science.  For instance, looking at fungus in the soil in Oklahoma is important here, because it affects our crops, but it is also a global problem with different types of fungus affecting other crops around the World. "Attending to the unexpected" is so valuable for students to learn that there "is no right answer".  So many students just want to know the "right answer", and that is not a real world scientific approach.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 33
      stephertan
      Framing students as people who do science is the practice I think I use most often...but I'm not sure I am as careful with my words as the article suggested. I think the "we are scientists' helpers" comment is actually something I've used before without thinking about the impact of that statement. Going forward, I'd like to encourage students to see themselves as scientists in a deeper way. I'll be more purposeful with my phrasing and I'd like to begin with some introductory lesson on how CS is citizens DOING SCIENCE...they would love that. I would also like to model the practice of connecting their work globally and locally. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? is a question I get every single day. Gifted kids, and especially those on the Autism spectrum, need to know the relevance of their work before they buy in. I will be sure to be ready with global and local impact stories to show them why we're doing what we do.
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