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    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
    Published 11 April 2019 Referencing Hub media
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    Explore some of the citizen science projects that you could tap into and how they might support learning.

    Transcript

    Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch (Victoria University of Wellington)

    Participating in online citizen science projects is great fun.

    Melissa Coton (Teacher)

    There are so many different projects available that there is something that’s going to suit every classroom and every student.

    Dr Dayle Anderson (Victoria University of Wellington)

    The OCS has provided some opportunities that are quite hard often to replicate within normal classroom science, you know, when you do practical things. I’ve been surprised by the richness of the opportunities.

    Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch

    You can look at zebras in the Serengeti, you can discover species on the seafloor or you can see the honey badger hanging off a tree.

    Carol Brieseman (Teacher)

    The kids got to do real-life science. That was something that was beyond the walls of our classroom.

    Matt Boucher (Teacher)

    I was doing a unit on light, and I used Agent Exoplanet and Planet Hunters so they can see how scientists actually use light.

    Dianne Christenson (Teacher)

    I used The Plastic Tide – a project based on identifying plastic rubbish that linked really well to a unit on sustainability and kaitiakitanga.

    Melissa Coton

    I chose to use the Globe at Night, which asks people to measure the level of light pollution in their local area. It had a lot of opportunity to extend what students were learning about.

    Carol Brieseman

    I used Identify New Zealand Animals. This project was about helping biologists identify animals from photos, and it was a nice follow-up to our ecosystem and rat trapping.

    Matt Boucher

    The kids were so excited by it because it’s space and it’s cool, and it was a real-life context. I had kids really, really excited about making and interpreting graphs, and that’s a hard one to pull off.

    Dianne Christenson

    This was the first time that I’d used an online citizen science project. It tweaked their curiosity, and it made them want to know more.

    Carol Brieseman

    The project really got them hooked in. They sat up. You could see the determination and importance that they felt, a bit of mana, yeah, we’re going to help this scientist.

    Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch

    There’s evidence for learning that happens while people participate in online citizen science projects. People were learning quite specific domain knowledge.

    Dr Dayle Anderson

    There were wonderful opportunities to look at quite big datasets.

    Matt Boucher

    Normally I wouldn’t have included a lot of graphing or interpreting graphs with kids, so it was quite cool to have an opportunity to do so, especially in a real context.

    Melissa Coton

    Students gather data in their local area, but they contribute to a global dataset.

    Dianne Christenson

    It gave a really global perspective on a local problem.

    Carol Brieseman

    The students were learning to critique data and use integrity. They really wanted to make sure about their answers and they weren’t tainting the dataset.

    Dr Dayle Anderson

    The children were naturally talking about citizen science and scientists and what did the scientists want to get out of the project.

    Carol Brieseman

    They were really understanding what it was. There was a lot of enthusiasm.

    Dianne Christenson

    They recognised that they were working with real scientists. The children saw themselves as scientists.

    Melissa Coton

    We had really rich discussions around the benefits of citizen science but also looking at the limitations of a project that relied on using personal judgement rather than scientific tools to make measurements.

    Dianne Christenson

    It was a brilliant project for developing science capabilities. It was such a purposeful learning for the children.

    Dr Dayle Anderson

    They just present another really strong tool that teachers could have in their kete to develop the capabilities that are going to be useful for citizenship and connecting that with how science works.

    Carol Brieseman

    I had kids coming to school early to get online and have a go. So motivated.

    Dianne Christenson

    The children began to see themselves as change makers.

    Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch

    There is great promise in online citizen science technologies and classroom activities.

    Matt Boucher

    And what cooler context for your little unit on light in intermediate school than actually helping scientists to find a planet outside of our Solar System?

    Acknowledgements
    Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch, Victoria University of Wellington
    Dr Dayle Anderson, Victoria University of Wellington
    Brigitte Glasson, Science Education Consultant
    Melissa Coton and her students from Boulcott School
    Carol Brieseman and her students from Hampton Hill School
    Matt Boucher and his students from South Wellington Intermediate School
    Dianne Christenson and her students from Koraunui School
    Victoria University of Wellington
    Teaching & Learning Research Initiative
    Globe at Night. National Optical Astronomy Observatory; AURA; and the National Science Foundation
    Identify New Zealand Animals, Victoria University of Wellington
    The Plastic Tide (this project is now finished)
    Drone footage courtesy of Aeronavics
    Agent Exoplanet, Las Cumbres Observatory
    Planet Hunters TESS
    Photo of beach litter, Ruslan Khyzhniak, 123RF Ltd
    Victor Anton, Victoria University of Wellington
    Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

    Acknowledgement

    This clip was produced in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington's Citizen Scientists in the Classroom project funded by the Ministry of Education's Teaching & Learning Research Initiative.