The Ohio Department of Natural resources (ODNR) , Division of Wildlife recently published a list of citizen science sites that have potential for the formal classroom. Several of the sources listed below are sites that contain a number of different citizen science possibilities.
Citizen science is a powerful tool that gives students an opportunity to take part in actual research projects that are national and even international in scope. These projects can provide meaningful instructional opportunities in a variety of content areas. The sites listed below are excellent starting points for teachers wishing to explore citizen science as a teaching tool.
Citizen science sites:
BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study and real data collection through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s exciting citizen science projects. BirdSleuth provides educators with kits that encourage kids to answer their own questions about nature using the scientific process; spend time outdoors, connecting with nature by focusing on the fascinating sights, sounds, and behaviors of birds; motivate kids by the real-world importance of the data they enter online, which scientists use to understand and conserve birds. Birdsleuth offers a variety of resources for all types of educators no matter the setting.
FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that provides individuals, groups, and families with an opportunity to learn about wetlands in their communities and report data on the calls of local frogs and toads. Volunteers collect data during evenings from February through August and have been submitting data for over 15 years.
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.
Journey North engages students and citizen scientists around the globe in tracking wildlife migration and seasonal change. Participants share field observations across the northern hemisphere, exploring the interrelated aspects of seasonal change.
Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals. Why use phenology in your education program? Observing phenology using Nature’s Notebook offers place-based, hands-on learning opportunities, provides a collaborative platform for site-based educators, promotes cross-subject engagement while addressing standards of learning, and can be used to identify and answer local scientific research questions addressed by many natural resource, volunteer and gardening groups. Phenology is an excellent lens for teaching about the natural world.
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Scientific American has gathered a collection of citizen science projects across the country. Some are regional but there are good resources for educators to review and even potentially model a study of their own. This site also includes some K-12 education materials and resources for science.
is the place to find, join, and contribute to science through recreational activities and citizen science research projects. Their database of citizen science projects enable discovery, organization, and greater participation in citizen science. Learn more about citizen science and check out their Ten Principles of Citizen Science.