citizen science

The collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs. (National Geographic Encyclopedic Entry)

caren cooper

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In the past, scientists had to travel the world to gather data or limit their study to a more regional approach. Now, scientists can request the world participates in their study. They can crowdsource the input from around the world, and have citizens get involved by sending photographs or experimental input. 

levels of involvement

Create a project

Students Analyze Data

Create your own driving question, collect a large sample set of data and ask for input from the community to identify and analyze. 

- Submit a project to Zooniverse

- Build this into a bigger part of PBL or have it lead to a bigger project for student learning

Student data collection

Students collect and contribute to bigger projects and submit it to a more public audience.  

- SciStarter: search for a project to submit

Students access data sets online and engage in interpreting and analyzing data. They participate in an existing project, but do some thinking around the data that is collected.  

- SciStarter: search for a project to submit

Do a local project

Do a bioblitz

Class based project

Local organizations may have projects that they are looking for input and it is specific to where you are. What better place based education that this! 

- See the list of Michigan projects on Get Outside! 

You can do a project without going fully public, and keeping your data to yourself. Students still benefit from the practices. 

- Globe Observer

- Students Discover

Host a bioblitz! Join a bioblitz! Students learn about data collection and photographing specimens. They submit them with the date, time, and geotag so that maps can be generated and scientists will identify the species.

- iNaturalist


*Not a linear process