Citizen (or community) science is an exciting way for the general public to get immersed in scientific research and contribute to the body of knowledge in various fields. For high school students, it can be an excellent way for them to learn about science and engage in authentic research and data collection. Through citizen science, high school students develop a sense of ownership and empowerment in their learning. Instead of merely learning about science concepts and theories, they can actively participate in the research process, collect data, and analyze results. This hands-on experience can make science come alive and help students see the real-world applications of scientific research.
There are many citizen science projects that students can try, depending on their interests and skills. There are apps and databases where they can find projects, which we highlighted in a previous blog post. For example, students can collect data on bird populations, monitor water quality, or even track the movements of stars or planets. These projects can be done on school grounds, nearby parks, or homes, and they can be modified to fit the resources and expertise of the students.
Engaging in citizen science projects can aid in the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills in high school students. To participate, they must plan and execute their research, analyze collected data, and derive conclusions based on their findings. Additionally, being a part of such projects can enhance communication skills as students learn how to effectively articulate and present their research outcomes to others. Overall, citizen science is a fantastic way for high school students to broaden their scientific skills, improve self-confidence, and make meaningful contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their areas of interest.
If you’re interested in incorporating citizen science into your classroom, there are numerous online resources and webinars available during Citizen Science Month. Science Friday and SciStarter have partnered to offer a series of webinars focused on biodiversity-related projects that are suitable for educators, parents, caregivers, and anyone with a curious child interested in science. These webinars will take place on Thursdays at 8 PM ET throughout April 2023. Additionally, a calendar of events featuring various activities is available for browsing.