I did a quick Facebook post about this free resource last week and decided it was worthy of an entire blog post. Not sponsored, I swear.
This is a free resource that is frequently featured in the NSTA (National Science Teacher Association) newsletter.
So what is Citizen Science and what makes it worthy of a blog post? The idea behind Citizen Science is that regular everyday citizens can get involved in scientific research in conjunction with scientists who are engaged in actual studies.
I first came across this a few years ago when my kids and I were looking up the type of squirrel we were seeing in our neighborhood. There was a Citizen Science study going on in New York that was asking for people all over the country to report in sightings of various types of squirrels for their research. Upon further investigation I saw that there were other studies and a whole plethora of resources available to people, to teachers, to home schoolers, and more!
The toolkit itself provides some ideas for engaging in studies that are already designed (such as the ones below) or for creating your own studies. The toolkit not only has directions, but scoring rubrics and all sorts of details and checklist to help you plan your project, big or small.
In addition to setting up or participating is studies, there are several other ways to use the website in your classroom and even a special section for homeschoolers.
-There are virtual programs for several topics ranging in levels from kindergarten through eight grade. Those are paid programs but look awesome.
-Lesson plans (free) that you can search by grade level-all listing their NGSS standards. Several of these include language arts connections as well.
-A video vault (I saw at least one Spanish resource in that section)- the "Renewable Energy: Powered by Poop" looks like an engaging video. ;).
-Classroom kits your school can buy that all have literature, lessons, hands on supplies and more.
-Live special events on various topics and for various grade levels
-Science notebooking resources and ideas
-Live cams for watching various animal populations
I'm sure I missed something! This site has so much to offer, especially if you need to beef up your own knowledge about certain science topics or you need new ideas and better ways to get kids mentally involved enough to retain what they're learning.
Head on over there and find something in your grade level!