Tag Archives: citizen science

Big learning from short observations of birds: February 17-20, 2017

Walk outside with your children, watch and count birds for 15 minutes while recording the names of those you know, and report your bird count to be part of a world-wide citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds, creating an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. On any or all of these four […]



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Citizen science + Photos of signs in public spaces = literacy and spatial awareness

If you and the children need to be active to stay warm outdoors in cold temperatures, consider walking fast on a walking field trip to locate and document signs around your community. In the September 2011 issue of Science and Children I wrote about helping children understand what models are by taking a walking field trip to […]



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Science “home”work for interested students

I have several students this year who are really into science. I’d like to provide or suggest some elementary-level projects or activities that parents can do with them at home to encourage this interest. Do you have any ideas beyond book lists and activity sheets?    —M. from Maryland Your desire to foster student interest in […]



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This Earth Day, Engage Kids in Citizen Science!

From students, to families, to interested novices … citizen scientists are people from all walks of life who participate in projects that help document biological and environmental trends over regions and timelines far broader than anyone could tackle by themselves. For teachers, citizen science is a way to motivate and inspire students through participation in […]



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What science teachers are reading in January 2014

From data literacy to citizen science to using trade books in science lessons, take a look at what science teachers are reading so far in 2014 at NSTA’s website. Most Popular NSTA Press Books 1. Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers: Using Nonfiction to Promote Science Literacy, Grades 3–5 2. The Basics of Data Literacy: Helping Your […]



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Vote for NSTA @ SXSWEdu

Today, SXSW (South by Southwest) is launching their PanelPicker voting for the fourth annual SXSWedu taking place March 3-6, 2014 in Austin, TX. Each year, SXSWedu invites the greater online community to share their input on content they’d like to see at the upcoming event. This Monday, August 19 marks the first day of public […]



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Updating traditional investigations

As a middle school life science teacher, I wanted students to learn about the living things in the habitats of our own community. One of the investigations we did each year was to “inventory” the bit of lawn in front of the school. The students dug out a small sample, and back in the lab […]



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Baby laughter…what do they laugh at?

While you’re looking forward to winter break, here’s a way you can have fun and do a little bit of science data collecting to contribute to a citizen science project. The Baby Laughter project would like to know what kinds of things babies find funny. Who are the funniest people? What are the funniest songs, […]



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Choosing plants for fall school garden lessons

What should, or can, a teacher plant during the early days of school to support children’s adjustment to school and deepen their understanding of living organisms? The answer to this question depends on many variables, including whether your school is located close to or far away from the equator, how high above sea level it […]



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Migration—It’s all about navigation and timing

I wouldn’t call it a misconception, but my middle school science students had an incomplete understanding of migration. They all knew that “birds fly south in the winter,” but they didn’t realize that for many birds, our location was “south” and that we were seeing migrants from the Arctic. They didn’t think about the reverse—birds […]



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