Notes in the Margin: Citizen Science

citizen sci coverBy Carol Feltes

We have already learned how to reach out on the worldwide web to engage the online community in joint projects and problem solving, but less so when it comes to non-virtual communities.  Citizen Science is a delightful recipe to lure unsuspecting non-scientists into engagement with science and our physical world.

It is a book with a gentle approach that can appeal to all ages, and acknowledges every effort or contribution, no matter how small, has real value.  It is a book that science teachers and local government agencies, such as parks departments, should use as resource and a model.  There are plenty of great ideas for K-12 science projects, supplemental activities to classroom instruction, and it creates a foundation for lifelong interest in science and an understanding of the environment.  It is rife with ideas that communities, scout troops, families and even seniors’ groups can use to create shared experiences and real, useful, scientific data.

This is “crowdsourcing”  in a delightful “analog” way!  The instructions are all here.  Get your friends together and go for a walk…make a contest out of observing the world, and life happening, all around you.  Add what you see and learn to the data contributed by so many other observers and how together we see everything much more clearly.


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