TeachersFirst's Citizen Science Resources

Citizen science is a quickly growing way for regular people to participate in scientific research. Citizen scientists help move science forward by gathering and sharing data, making observations, and teaming up with professional scientists. It also opens the scientific process to more people and helps everyone better understand and appreciate scientific discovery. Citizen science offers students many opportunities to participate in hands-on, real-world science projects. Students can observe wildlife, track weather patterns, and identify celestial bodies. Students learn that science is for everyone, not just scientists, as the students develop critical thinking and observation skills. Skim this collection of resources to learn how students can meaningfully contribute to community citizen science projects and activities. 

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Planet Bee Foundation - Planet Bee Foundation Programs

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1 to 12
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Planet Bee Foundation, a pollinator conservation and science education leader, invites educators and community members to join their "Bees in Science" program. As part of its commitment...more
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Planet Bee Foundation, a pollinator conservation and science education leader, invites educators and community members to join their "Bees in Science" program. As part of its commitment to citizen science, Planet Bee offers engaging community science projects that empower participants to contribute to pollinator conservation and agricultural innovations. Through initiatives like ZomBee Watch, Native Bee Community Science Project, and Pollinator Safari, participants can become citizen scientists, track pollinator health, and support local bee populations. Educators can register their classes for these projects, providing students with hands-on learning experiences that foster curiosity, scientific inquiry, and environmental stewardship.

tag(s): citizen science (24), insects (69)

In the Classroom

To engage your students, consider using platforms like Flip, reviewed here or Padlet,reviewed here to create interactive discussions where students can share their observations and findings from citizen science projects like ZomBee Watch or the Native Bee Community Science Project. You can then integrate virtual learning experiences and take students on virtual pollinator safaris, allowing them to explore different ecosystems and observe pollinators in their natural habitats. Many Zoos and other organizations have virtual tours you can use. To extend learning beyond the classroom, collaborate with local environmental organizations and/or collect data on your own and identify pollinators in your area.

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Crowdsourcing Science Using Citizen Science in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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What is Citizen Science, and what are some ideas for incorporating it into the classroom? This article from TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series, reviewed...more
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What is Citizen Science, and what are some ideas for incorporating it into the classroom? This article from TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series, reviewed here provides background knowledge and ideas for using citizen science projects to enhance your science curriculum while supporting the greater science community. The activities include learning how to understand the basics of citizen science, suggesting projects that feature counting a bat population, supporting local birds, reporting sea turtle sightings, and more. Additional extension activities provide ideas and essential information on creating a citizen science project.

tag(s): citizen science (24), data (146), inquiry (24), STEM (260)

In the Classroom

Increase student engagement by encouraging students to find and select citizen science projects that help their community and appeal to their interests by voting on a project to participate in. Create a simple survey using Poll Maker, reviewed here for students to vote on a project to become part of. Extend learning by asking students to document learning using science journals. Find many different templates for journals at Slidesmania, reviewed here to download and use with PowerPoint and Google Slides.

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Citizen Science for Educators - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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6 to 12
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Citizen Science for Educators shares many low or no-cost ideas for collecting and interpreting data as a citizen scientist. Click the Resources tab at the top to find resource collections...more
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Citizen Science for Educators shares many low or no-cost ideas for collecting and interpreting data as a citizen scientist. Click the Resources tab at the top to find resource collections by topic. This list shares ideas that include transcribing historic ship logs, measuring magnetic data, and tracking weather conditions as a backyard weather observer. Select the link to any project to find additional information and requirements to join. These pages may no longer be updated, but they still have plenty of valuable resources to explore.

tag(s): citizen science (24), environment (240), fish (18), magnetism (36), oceans (146), STEM (260), weather (163), whales (11)

In the Classroom

Use this site and others to find potential citizen science projects for your students. Ask students to select projects by area of interest and work together as groups to gather and share information. Have students share data and updates using Padlet, reviewed here, or Wakelet, reviewed here. For example, create a Padlet with a column for each project, then ask students to add their data and observations in the appropriate column. When using Wakelet, create a collection for each observation group for students to add data and share information in their chosen project. To enhance learning, as a final project, ask students to share their completed project with the class by creating a website using a free website creation tool like Site123, reviewed here, or with a video made with Animoto, reviewed here.

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20 Citizen Science Projects for Students of All Ages - Eperiential Learning Depot

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K to 12
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This blog post provides resources for educators, parents, and students interested in exploring science through hands-on, real-world experiences featuring projects that cover various...more
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This blog post provides resources for educators, parents, and students interested in exploring science through hands-on, real-world experiences featuring projects that cover various scientific disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. The featured projects include a range of ideas for students of all ages, ranging from tracking bird populations to studying the effects of light pollution on fireflies. Select the link to any featured project to find a list of materials, instructions, and additional information for participating.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): birds (42), butterflies (12), citizen science (24), climate (80), habitats (87), insects (69), migration (44), plants (144), STEM (260), water (101)

In the Classroom

Browse through this list of citizen science projects to find classroom science projects, then work together to choose the project that interests your students. Consider using Google Jamboard, reviewed here, as a starting point to engage students and share information about potential projects. For example, create a Jamboard slide for each possible project, add important information, then ask students to add sticky notes with their ideas. After choosing a project, work together to make science journals that detail your work. Gather and share data using an easy chart-creation tool like Livegap Charts, reviewed here, as you analyze information. Use the tools found at Canva for Education, reviewed here, to share your results with timelines, infographics, and posters.

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Citizen Science Platforms & Organizations - Science Literacy Foundation

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K to 12
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Are you ready to join the citizen science community but need help knowing where to start? Then, this site is for you! First, browse this curated list of citizen science ...more
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Are you ready to join the citizen science community but need help knowing where to start? Then, this site is for you! First, browse this curated list of citizen science platforms and organizations to find your perfect match. Next, use this list to find information from government resources, crowd-sourcing media, global community connections, and more. In addition to links to resources, each item on the list includes a summary of the project or resource.

tag(s): animals (280), citizen science (24), data (146), ecology (100), environment (240), habitats (87), space (213), STEM (260)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the information on this site to introduce your students to the concept of citizen science. Brainstorm together to develop a list of ideas for a citizen science class project, then use a polling tool such as Dotstorming, reviewed here, to vote on your final choice. Instead of using written journals throughout your unit, ask students to replace these and enhance learning by keeping online journals with Microsoft Word or Google Documents: alternatively, have students use a blog tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. With Telegra.ph have students click on an icon to upload related images and add YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitter links. Throughout your research, ask students to highlight and share important information, add annotations, and add links to additional information. As you add student resources, use Wakelet, reviewed here, to share information on your website or blog. Ask students to enhance their learning and create personal Wakelets, including images from projects and their journal entries.

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Citizen Community Science for Bees - The Bee Conservancy

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K to 12
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Join scientists in advancing bee research as citizen scientists with a snap of a picture. Using the iNaturalist app, citizen scientists find and photograph pollinators, then share their...more
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Join scientists in advancing bee research as citizen scientists with a snap of a picture. Using the iNaturalist app, citizen scientists find and photograph pollinators, then share their images with millions of scientists. Begin by downloading the app from Google Play or the Apple App store for free, then create an account. Next, create a free account with the Bee Conservancy to receive updates and helpful tips. After taking pictures, upload and share your images with bee experts.

tag(s): citizen science (24), habitats (87), insects (69)

In the Classroom

Share the Bee Conservancy project with students to participate in at home or join as a class. Be sure to take appropriate precautions when photographing bees and identify students who are allergic. Add your images to a class website created with Webnode, reviewed here or any other free and simple website creator. In addition to student images, add descriptions of the bees' locations; then, as students become more proficient in recognizing the different types of bees, add labels to share the name of the species in the image. Finally, extend student learning using Microsoft PowerPoint Online, reviewed here, to create interactive lessons about bees and their habits, including videos, articles, and quizzes.

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Community Science Opportunities - The Maritime Aquarium

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K to 12
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Become a citizen scientist by participating in one or more community science opportunities the Maritime Aquarium shares. Projects include a City Nature Challenge, Frog Watch USA, The...more
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Become a citizen scientist by participating in one or more community science opportunities the Maritime Aquarium shares. Projects include a City Nature Challenge, Frog Watch USA, The Great Backyard Bird Count, and others. Most activities are available for anyone in the international community; view the information to learn about dates and ways to become involved.

tag(s): animals (280), birds (42), citizen science (24), data (146), environment (240)

In the Classroom

Consider participating in one of the community science opportunities shared on this site as an investigative science project, even if the actual date of the event has passed. For example, The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place in February; however, any student or class can complete it over four days without concerns about grade level. After tallying your bird count, create an easy graph using the Data Gif Maker, reviewed here. Extend student learning by completing another bird count at a different time of the year, then have students analyze and compare their graphs and data collection information. Use one of the many tools found at Canva Edu, reviewed here to create and share presentations, images, or videos.

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Citizen Science Month - Arizona State University and SciStarter

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K to 12
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Learn the basics of citizen science and find ideas for projects and events for beginners and experienced scientists at the Citizen Science Month site. Begin by scrolling down to the...more
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Learn the basics of citizen science and find ideas for projects and events for beginners and experienced scientists at the Citizen Science Month site. Begin by scrolling down to the Foundations of Citizen Science Tutorial to learn the basics of citizen science and earn a digital badge upon completing the module. Follow-up modules are available to extend learning in data literacy, using libraries as hubs, and more. Other information on this site includes a database of science projects, a library network with free resources for creating an event, and a calendar of upcoming events. Registration isn't required to view information on the site; however, creating a free account is required to complete the tutorials and access the complete database of science projects.

tag(s): citizen science (24), data (146), ecology (100), engineering (119), genetics (76), inquiry (24), medicine (55), psychology (67), statistics (114), STEM (260)

In the Classroom

Explore the many free projects Citizen Science offers to engage students in scientific exploration and inquiry that match your curriculum. Consider working together as a class to complete the Citizen Science Tutorial and earn the digital badge. As students work together to collect and analyze data, use Livegap Charts, reviewed here, to enter data and create customized charts. After working in groups or together as a class, to analyze the information learned, create a presentation to share with parents and peers during a Citizen Science night event. Use presentation tools such as Bulb, reviewed here, to create portfolios or Slidestory, reviewed here, to create and share audio slide presentations.
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World Wildlife Foundation Educator's Toolkits - World Wildlife Organization

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K to 12
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World Wildlife Organization offers several educational toolkits for teaching the conservation of the planet, animals, and food resources. Elementary-level kits primarily focus on exploring...more
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World Wildlife Organization offers several educational toolkits for teaching the conservation of the planet, animals, and food resources. Elementary-level kits primarily focus on exploring animals, while secondary activities tackle in-depth topics of biodiversity, food waste, and issues affecting the planet. Download each kit or select the preview to examine learning materials before downloading. Each resource includes an educator's resource guide, teaching activities, student resources, posters, and achievement certificates.

tag(s): animals (280), carbon footprint (5), citizen science (24), conservation (82), earth (185), earth day (60)

In the Classroom

Use the lessons and activities found on this site to engage students in learning about animals and conservation. Use Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share additional resources with elementary students in a user-friendly format. For older students, consider using LiveBinders, reviewed here, to collaborate and compile information. After completing research, use a tool such as Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics as a class or as individual projects. Share your infographics on your class website when complete. As a culminating project, share options with students to "show what they know" through a variety of options. Consider offering students a variety of tools such as creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, a virtual tour built with Google My Maps, reviewed here, or a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. This site is perfect to include during Citizen Science Month each April as a resource for finding science activities that turn curiosity into impact.
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Journey North - Journey North

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3 to 12
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Journey North is a citizen science program for collaborating and documenting the migration of animals and insects. Become involved by adding your images and sightings, or follow the...more
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Journey North is a citizen science program for collaborating and documenting the migration of animals and insects. Become involved by adding your images and sightings, or follow the site to view the observations of others through maps, images, and descriptions. Choose from a diverse selection of animals, including whales, earthworms, and many others to begin. Within each topic find information about the animal and their migration habits along with links to additional resources. Take your journey a step further and choose the live cam link to view webcams and animal videos from around the world. Make sure to check out the educator's section to find vocabulary, reading, and inquiry activities.

tag(s): animal homes (56), animals (280), citizen science (24), insects (69), migration (44), Project Based Learning (25), scientists (62)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this site to teach students about animal migration and the activities of scientists. Include a link to the site on classroom computers to follow updates and record sightings. Even if you don't participate by sharing information on the site, consider using the site as a model for observations in your area and possibly a mini project based learning unit. Use Microsoft Office or Google Docs to create a spreadsheet to record sightings including dates, images, and the person doing the sighting. As students view different animals, encourage them to research and learn more about them and share their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Extend classroom technology use by having students include their infographics on webpages created using Carrd, reviewed here. Carrd is a simple yet attractive-looking tool for creating websites for even less tech-savvy users. Redefine classroom technology use and learning and ask students to use Odyssey, reviewed here, to design an interactive map including images, text, and other multimedia to tell the story of migration.
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Invasive Mosquito Project - Citizen Science

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6 to 12
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Collect and share data about mosquitos as part of a national project by participating in the Invasive Mosquito Project. This project is gathering data on the number and types of ...more
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Collect and share data about mosquitos as part of a national project by participating in the Invasive Mosquito Project. This project is gathering data on the number and types of mosquitoes found around the country and needs the help of students, teachers, and anyone interested in participating. In addition to this research project, the site offers a collection of resources for teachers including lessons for collecting information, recognizing mosquito types, and mosquito facts. Submit your collected data using the online form found on the site.

tag(s): citizen science (24), data (146), insects (69), scientific method (47)

In the Classroom

The Invasive Mosquito Project is an excellent way to teach scientific process and data gathering through real-world techniques. Take advantage of the free lessons found on the site to teach your students how to properly collect and share data before actually following procedures for participating in the project. As students learn to collect data and take images, use Wakelet, reviewed here, to organize and share their work and curate online information. As students become more involved with the project ask them to share information using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Google My Maps offers tools for creating a virtual field trip across a path created by students.
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Monarch Lab - University of Minnesota

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K to 12
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This site is an undertaking of the University of Minnesota to develop a citizen science project including volunteers from around the country to share long-term data on monarch butterfly...more
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This site is an undertaking of the University of Minnesota to develop a citizen science project including volunteers from around the country to share long-term data on monarch butterfly populations and their milkweed habitat. Sign up and share your data, or explore the site to learn more about monarch butterflies. The site includes monitoring data from around the US, training information, and ongoing updates and newsletters.

tag(s): animal homes (56), butterflies (12), citizen science (24), data (146), habitats (87), insects (69)

In the Classroom

Use the downloadable worksheets on this site to monitor and learn about monarch butterflies in your area. Use Google Sheets and Documents to include images and data together. Compare your class data to those around the country. Take advantage of this project to show students how every piece of data is significant for scientific studies. Ask students to share information through blog entries using edublog, reviewed here. edublog includes tools for easily creating interesting blogs including student writing and images.
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The Bee Cause Project - Ted Dennard

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K to 12
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Learn about the important roles of bees in our ecosystems with the many resources found on the Bee Cause Project site. Choose from many lessons and curriculum guides for classrooms....more
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Learn about the important roles of bees in our ecosystems with the many resources found on the Bee Cause Project site. Choose from many lessons and curriculum guides for classrooms. Learn how to start and maintain your own hive through videos and webinars. Be sure also to watch the site for annual grant applications for schools to implement a honey bee hive and educational program.

tag(s): citizen science (24), ecosystems (72), grants (16), habitats (87), insects (69), life cycles (21)

In the Classroom

Download the many curriculum materials to include with teaching units on insects and ecosystems. Work together with other school classes to apply for the annual grant to receive a hive for your school. Encourage students to learn more about the many benefits of bees by sharing additional resources on a Padlet, reviewed here. Create columns on your Padlet to organize resources into topics such as books, videos, online information, and student research. Challenge students to use a game-creation tool like Scratch, reviewed here, to make a game about bees and their importance within local ecosystems.
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Project BudBurst - Chicago Botanic Garden

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K to 12
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community...more
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community of citizen scientists! Record the observations of first leafing, first flower, etc. (especially for native plant species), and have them reported to a national database. Under the Activities tab at the top find For Educators and from there scroll down the page to choose curricula by grade level (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Higher Education). You may also want to check out Groups. For K-12 there are lists for National Science Education Standards (NSES) and Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Under each level find helpful guides for using the site and supplemental activities. Registration is free and allows for reporting data and becoming a citizen scientist.

tag(s): citizen science (24), environment (240), plants (144), Project Based Learning (25), scientific method (47)

In the Classroom

Bring your science class to life and the "real world" for students using Project BudBurst's free resources. Captivate student interest by having them discover the importance of nature and our interactions with it. Participants must be 13 years of age to set up an account. Since participation requires registration with email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class. Add to the growing database and document plant phenology as seen in your area. As you discuss various types of plants, assign students to take pictures of the stages observed, make observations about the stages, and then modify classoom technology use by having students create an infographic sharing their findings using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. This resource is perfect for use in a project based learning unit.

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Siftr - David Gagnon & Shelby Copeland

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5 to 12
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Siftr is a social photo sharing site for students to post, tag, and describe their surroundings based on a teacher-directed prompt or activity. Explore already created Siftrs through...more
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Siftr is a social photo sharing site for students to post, tag, and describe their surroundings based on a teacher-directed prompt or activity. Explore already created Siftrs through a keyword search or browse through recent and popular activity. Create an account to begin your own Siftrs. Upload a picture with a brief description and tag with one of the five selected themes. Share Siftr with others to contribute their photos and observations, all tagged and uploaded to a map.

tag(s): citizen science (24), images (270), maps (208), photography (131), social networking (68)

In the Classroom

Browse through Siftr for ideas on how others use this site for photo sharing in the classroom. Create Siftrs for your citizen science unit to demonstrate different stages of plant growth, observations of mammals and insects, etc. Collect images identifing landforms around the world, to inspire creative writing, or share items that can be recycled. The possibilities are endless!

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It's a Buggy World - Illinois Extension - Insects: Univerisity of Illinois

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3 to 5
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Get into the world of bugs with this informative site featuring insects of all kinds! Choose from topics such as Pests, Beneficial Bugs, Pollinators, Stories, Blogs, and Videos. View...more
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Get into the world of bugs with this informative site featuring insects of all kinds! Choose from topics such as Pests, Beneficial Bugs, Pollinators, Stories, Blogs, and Videos. View videos with facinating titles such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Insects and Monarch Status Update, and much more. Be sure to check out the tab at the top labeled Tip Sheets to find a few projects for your citizen science enthusiasts.

tag(s): citizen science (24), insects (69), Project Based Learning (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an informational text and audio visual presentation on insects. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share as an example for an informational report to meet Common Core standards. Analyze the a topic, maybe spiders articles and video, creating a concept map to explore the main ideas and details for increased comprehension. Use a graphic organizer such as, Whimsical Mind Maps, reviewed here as an example for taking notes. Next have students or small groups choose a topic and use Read Ahead, reviewed here to , have students create a guided reading activity for those who are less proficient readers. Next, have students take notes by creating a concept map. culminate this activity by having students having cooperative learning groups create podcasts using a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
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BirdSleuth - Cornell University

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Join BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study. Use real data collection and the scientific process. Study nature and discover the real-world...more
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Join BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study. Use real data collection and the scientific process. Study nature and discover the real-world importance of data (entered by students and used by scientists). Search resources by grade level K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each grade level has several categories such as Kits and Curriculum units, Free Downloads, Posters, Cards, Games, & More. Some free lessons and activities are: Citizen Science Bird Quest, Feathered Friends, Investigating Evidence, HomeSchoolers' Guide to Project Feeder Watch, Evolution in Paradise, Using eBird with Groups, Explore Life Cycles Through Nesting Birds, and lots more. Kits are available for purchase.

tag(s): birds (42), citizen science (24), environment (240), scientific method (47)

In the Classroom

Science classes come alive using BirdSleuth's free resources. Captivate students while discovering the importance of nature and our interactions with it. In gifted classes, use this idea as an example of project-based learning. Pair it with a book such as Hoot by Carl Hiaasen to include ties with literature. Use this resource to build understanding of stewardship in our environment and of man's impact on nature. Develop research and include language arts standards to document the research, study, and findings.
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SciStarter - Science for Citizens LLC

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Find citizen science projects that are available for students. View the video What is Citizen Science? Choose projects for PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and for college students. Each project...more
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Find citizen science projects that are available for students. View the video What is Citizen Science? Choose projects for PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and for college students. Each project has a video, thorough directions, and links for additional resources. Science teachers register and can sign up for email newsletters describing the projects. Example projects include: Budburst, Project Squirrel, Globe At Night, Crowd the Tap, and Land Loss Lookout. Topics range from weather to birds to medicine to sound. Rather than focusing on teaching content, the activities focus on using scientific communities to connect and immerse students in the science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (280), archeology (25), birds (42), citizen science (24), ecology (100), environment (240), geology (64), insects (69), medicine (55), oceans (146), Project Based Learning (25), science fairs (19), scientific method (47), sound (74), space (213), transportation (32), weather (163)

In the Classroom

Find a great project for your students to participate in, entering data and looking at the results. Search by activity or topic to find a project geared towards your students age range, curriculum, and ability to complete. Have students make a multimedia presentation about one of the "projects" using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Slides, Animatron, Vibby, and Glorify. This resource lends itself to project based learning.

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Zooniverse - Zooniverse

Grades
7 to 12
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Zooniverse is one of the largest and most popular citizen science projects. Choose from the feature projects found on this page or click See All Projects to be able to ...more
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Zooniverse is one of the largest and most popular citizen science projects. Choose from the feature projects found on this page or click See All Projects to be able to choose from a category. The categories include Arts, Biology, Climate, History, Literature, Medicine, and several others. Click on the category of your choice to go to that project page and read more about the purpose. View interesting information and discoveries that occur when people around the world contribute to a citizen science project. Create a login that can be used for any project shown. Registration requires and email address. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): citizen science (24), earth (185), moon (70), Project Based Learning (25), Research (83), space (213), sun (69), weather (163)

In the Classroom

Find interesting scientific information and how our understanding increases when data is included from other sources. Find information about our past history, earth and space around us, and information that can affect our future technology and exploration. Find a project based learning unit to suit your students interests. Have students make a multimedia presentation about one of the "projects" using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Animatron, Sway, and Microsoft PowerPoint Online.

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