What are the best ways to engage youth and adults in authentic scientific inquiry? We are exploring this question with our Driven to Discover: Citizen Science project.
Public participation in science, known as citizen science, is when citizens collect and report data, using specified methods, to contribute to scientific research. In our Driven to Discover project, research teams made up of youth and adult citizen scientists are monitoring Monarch butterfy larvae, birds, and water quality, then conducting investigations.
This five-year project is now entering its fourth summer. Through it, we are designing a model and curriculum to prepare and support adults - content experts, youth leaders, parents. Their reasons for participation vary -- to volunteer, to extend their teaching, to deepen youth programs in nature settings, to learn through inquiry with youth.