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Extension > Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education > Archives > October 2013 Archives

October 2013 Archives

In a new video on the University of Minnesota Extension You Tube Channel a young researcher, Tiana Connelly, describes her experience researching Monarch caterpillars last summer. Sparked through her involvement in the NSF-funded Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry through Citizen Science project, Tiana worked with University of Minnesota Graduate Assistant, Kelly Nail, to study how caterpillars respond to tiny temperature variations on a single milkweed plant. In the future, they hope to publish results of their research project.

The NSF-funded Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry through Citizen Science project seeks to expand the reach of Citizen Science for youth. Typically, citizen science--or public involvement science--involves the general public in collecting data that can be analyzed and interpreted by professional scientists. Illustrated in the new video, this project carries citizen science a step further, enabling youth to design, carry out, and even report on their own research questions under the mentorship of science advisors at the University of Minnesota. By giving young researchers the freedom and responsibility to design their own projects, they gain a greater understanding and appreciation for science, and will grow to see themselves as scientists.

CLICK to learn more about Driven to Discover: Enabling Antuentic Inquiry through Citizen Science.

CLICK to watch other Citizen Science videos on the University of Minnesota Extension YouTube Channel.

Just what is Citizen Science? Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education (FWCE) staff spend a lot of time training and supporting citizen volunteers and youth for active contributions to citizen science projects. But we find that our participants aren't always sure what these projects entail, or how these are connected to broader scientific study. In a new video on the University of Minnesota Extension YouTube Channel, we define what is Citizen Science, and how citizen scientific contributions are valuable for important conservation research projects. The short video focuses on the stories of Extension Specialists, Karen Oberhauser and Robert Blair. It is appropriate for youth and adult audiences.

Through our NSF-funded Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry Through Citizen Science project, FWCE staff are also exploring citizen science as a learning environment for youth scientific inquiry. In part, staff are conducting research to identify key factors that provoke authentic inquiry by youth/adult research teams using citizen science experiences. A handout Research Summary reports preliminary results of this research. In summary, we currently conceive citizen science as a rich environment for sparking science inquiry. The physical setting for the program, research team meeting structure and activities, and team characteristics are the roots from which authenticity and engagement grow into inquiry.

Visit the University of Minnesota Extension website to learn more about Citizen Science. Add a comment to this post to suggest additional information or resources to add to the site.

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