Citizen Science
by Nancy M. Trautmann, Jennifer Fee, Terry M. Tomasek, Nancylee R. Bergey

Price at time of review: $29.95
224 pp.
NSTA Press
Arlington, VA
ISBN: 9781936959082

Grade Level: 6-12

Reviewed by Rita Hoots

Take this opportunity to lift the eye from the microscope and refocus on global issues. In this novel and exciting publication, teachers and students are shown how they can participate in relevant science projects by allying with professional researchers.

Citizen Science is the term embracing the collaborative communication and reporting between the public and investigative agencies. Several case studies with the monarch butterfly movement, amphibian and reptile population dynamics, bird monitoring, and more describe how the students use their observational and processing skills to collect data and contribute to national research resources. Fifteen innovative laboratory exercises are clearly outlined, from studying tree squirrels, to identifying and noting differences in terrestrial invertebrates, to tracking turtles, and even examining the changes in winter twigs over time. These exercises erase some of the molecular abstractions that baffle so many students and engage their curiosity in an active, tangible manner.

Awareness of global environmental changes should be part of education and these series of exercises enable the student to partake in the research using the tools of the Internet and the research reports of the agencies involved in tracking the transformations. Best of all, the students themselves become involved through their own observations, processing, recording, and collaborative activities with classmates and professional colleagues.

Review posted on 10/23/2013

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