Citizen Science

Caren Cooper: Everybody Counts

What is citizen science?

Citizen science has many names and definitions, but in general, it’s all about people getting involved in scientific data collection, analysis, or reporting. That means you!

What does citizen science look like?

  1. One person or many people working together to answer a question.
  2. Participants using the same methods to collect high-quality data.

Bringing citizen science into your classroom

The California Academy of Sciences created a Citizen Science Toolkit to help educators bring citizen science into their curriculum. It has lessons, readings, and worksheets and applicable NGSS standards as well as NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts.

Citizen Science Toolkit and All About Arsenic

The Citizen Science Toolkit provides excellent instruction on preparing students to participate in any citizen science project and the lessons provided can be used to give students greater ownership of the All About Arsenic project.

Video Resources

Crowd in the Cloud has four videos on different aspects of citizen science. We recommend Episode 2: Citizens and Scientists, which talks about testing drinking water.

Bringing youth into the equation

Starting your own project

Do you or your students want to collect data of your own? Try creating a project on Anecdata and start crowdsourcing information!

Ethics in Citizen Science

Citizen science involves everyday people who are generally not professional scientists contributing meaningful data to scientific efforts aimed at better understanding the world around us. In 2015, the ‘Sharing best practice and building capacity’ working group of the European Citizen Science Association, led by the Natural History Museum London developed ten principles of citizen science with input from many members of the Association. Their goal was to set out some of the key principles which as a community they believed represented good practice in citizen science. Teachers and scientist partners in the NIH SEPA “All About Arsenic” project adapted these principles in 2022 to address ethics in citizen science projects happening in secondary schools, with a special emphasis on their project.