Citizen Science, for Students and Teachers
"Citizen Science" programs are growing in terms of their numbers of types of opportunities. Teachers may be familiar with Project BudBurst
and Project FeederWatch
, but have you tweeted snowfall amounts, or measured tree diameters, or categorized satellite imagery of tropical cyclones? Read below to find out how you and your students can contribute to these larger projects, or start a long-term database of measurements at your own school.
The Snowtweets Project
Turn snow days into data-collection days! Just using a ruler, students can engage in real-time science research with the snow and ice researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Using Twitter, everyone across the globe is asked to tweet snow depths wherever you are located. The collected data can then be viewed in Google Earth. Visit The Snowtweets Project
Join the Smithsonian Global Tree Banding Project!
Get involved in the Smithsonian Institution's Tree Banding Project, a citizen science program that contributes to research about tree biomass and will track how trees respond to climate. Students around the globe will monitor the rate at which their local trees grow and learn how that rate corresponds to Smithsonian research as well as comparing their work to other students world-wide. Once involved, participants will help to create the first global observatory of how trees respond to climate as well as contributing vital information to an important ecological study. Visit the website
to learn more about the project and how you can order your free kit to participate.
Cyclone Center needs your help!
This new crowd-sourcing project could use the assistance of some sharp-eyed teachers! Climate scientists are asking for assistance in classifying over 30 years of tropical cyclone satellite imagery. The global intensity record contains uncertainties caused by differences in analysis procedures around the world and through time. Scientists are enlisting the public because patterns in storm imagery are best recognized by the human eye. Learn more by visiting the Cyclone Center website
, and see how quickly you can jump in and help.
January PAESTAR - Pennsylvania Earth Science Teacher Achievement Recognition
This month, we recognize Kathy Tait
, a science teacher at the Julia R. Masterman School in Philadelphia. For the past several years, Kathy has engaged with several Earth Science teacher workshops and has moved into leading workshops and projects for other teachers. In 2010, Kathy presented her pedagogical innovations at a regional Geological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Her talk, titled "Dispelling middle school student misconceptions of Grand Canyon formation through hands-on activities," led to her publishing this work in the The Earth Scientist in 2011. Kathy has continued in teaching curricular innovations to others as the lead organizer of a teacher workshop at the Franklin Institute in Summer 2012.
Congratulations, Kathy - you are clearly a PAESTAR!
5th & 6th Graders Needed as Judges for The Flame Challenge
Stony Brook University brings us the second Flame Challenge
question: What is time? The Flame Challenge is an international contest that asks scientists to communicate complex science in ways that can be understood by an 11-year-old. The competition judges are... you guessed it, thousands of 11-year-olds in schools from across the globe. Find out how to get your students to participate as judges.