May 19, 2020
Gratitude, put simply, is thankfulness in your heart and mind — a sentiment that often leads to a desire to give. We see this everywhere today. People, including students, want to give something back to those who are doing the most. Frontline medical professionals and grocery workers are receiving an avalanche of gratitude through signs and songs, ad campaigns and social media blitzes. How can 21st CCLC programs “give back” right now? One answer: citizen science.
Citizen science is a form of crowdsourcing in which everyday people give their time and energy to help scientists conduct real science experiments that could make the world a better place. Check out Y4Y’s Citizen Science course to learn how to incorporate citizen science into your afterschool or summer program. The course will inspire you to use virtual learning to get your students started on a meaningful adventure in learning and giving.
There are many resources on the internet to connect your students to global citizen science projects. Currently at the forefront of people’s desire to give back is how they can help combat COVID-19. Citizenscience.org compiled a number of resources and suggestions on how to contribute. The University of California, San Francisco is performing a citizen science project around the disease. They’re asking for adult participants, so this is a great way to engage families.
Concerned that this topic might be too much for your younger students? Never fear! There are many citizen science projects to choose from. Zooniverse asks volunteers to observe animals in the wild. Scientists have developed an online game to speed a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Scistarter.org (website may not load in some browsers) has a searchable bank of projects, many of which are feasible during quarantine.
Y4Y course tools that may be of great use while you’re interacting with students virtually include the Student Engagement Tips for Grades K-12, More Citizen Science Resource Links, and the Family Participation in Citizen Science tool. One of the most important things you can do for students is give them opportunities to contribute. Citizen science is an ideal way to do just that.