Posts Tagged teachers

STEM Tuesday –Community Science – In the Classroom

This month’s theme is something that is near and dear to my heart – Community Science (also known as Citizen Science). I’ve participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (among others) for years. The books I read that inspired this month’s activity suggestions are:

Book Cover for Bat Citizens, showing a bat flying toward the reader.Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night
by Rob Laidlaw

This book is devoted just one type of animal – bats. It highlights many different young scientists and what they are doing to help these amazing creatures.

 

Book cover for Citizen Scientists. Shows a ladybug on a leaf, a red-bellied woodpecker, a hand holding a frog, and a monarch butterfly.Citizen Scientists: Be A Part of Scientific Discovery From Your Own Backyard
by Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz

This book covers a citizen/community science project for each season – Fall butterflying, Winter birding, Spring frogging, and Summer ladybugging.

 

Turquoise book cover reading "The Outdoor Scientist"The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World
by Temple Grandin

The Outdoor Scientist is part memoir, part field guide, and contains lots of different activities and mini-bios of inspiring scientists. Opportunities to take part in citizen science projects are sprinkled throughout. They include several projects I hadn’t heard of before.

 

Book cover for 12 Epic Animal Adventures shows monkeys bathing in a hot spring.12 Epic Animal Adventures
by Janet Slingerland

I wrote this book, which means I read it MANY times. Each chapter highlights a different location around the world where people can have an interesting animal experience. The 5th chapter shows visitors participating in a leatherback sea turtle nest count.

 

Find a Project and Join In!

Of course, the first thing I’m inspired to do after reading these books is to participate in a community science project. There are a multitude to choose from.

Most of the better-known community science projects are related to the natural world. But there are lots of other projects out there. Here are a few web sites where you can see or search for a variety of efforts you can participate in.

SciStarter (https://scistarter.org) lets you search for projects that are online or in person near you. You can also search by topic, age range, or goal. This site most likely has links to all the projects listed in the books.

NASA has a page dedicated to citizen science projects. Some of these are literally out of this world (sorry, couldn’t resist). Here’s the link: https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscience

National Geographic has a page where you can look through a list of projects geared for grades 3-12+. The web site is: https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/citizen-science-projects.

Keep an eye open for new opportunities. I recently saw a notice put out by NJ Fish & Wildlife about a turkey brood survey. Each year, they ask for help estimating the number of turkey families throughout NJ. (The link to the survey is on the NJ Fish & Wildlife home page: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw – look for the orange “Wild Turkey Alert”.)

I also saw a notice about a firefly survey. We see fireflies in our backyard, so I was really interested to see what that was all about. It’s run by Mass Audubon, but anyone in North America can participate. https://www.massaudubon.org/get-involved/community-science/firefly-watch

Report on a Project

Each of the books presents community science projects in different ways. After participating in a project, report on it.

You could choose to imitate one of these methods or explore different ways of communicating what you did and what you learned. You could practice interview and journalism techniques by reporting on a community scientist’s experiences. You could present your project participating as a photo-essay. You could put together a podcast episode or video segment.

The opportunities for this are endless.

Citizen vs. Community

You might notice that some people refer to community-supported science efforts as citizen science while others call it community science. A few organizations have explained why they’re making the switch, like here: https://debspark.audubon.org/news/why-were-changing-citizen-science-community-science and here: https://www.re-sources.org/2020/10/community-science-citizen-science.

This is a great opportunity to talk about citizenship, community, and the power of words. I recently had a very interesting conversation with my son on these topics. What I find especially interesting is that we each have different ideas about what it means to be a citizen.

Some things to ponder:

What do you think of when you hear citizenship? Community? What are your feelings around these words?

Look the words up in the dictionary. Do they mean what you think they mean?

Does citizen science imply something different than community science?

As citizens of Earth, do we (or should we) have some responsibility to engage in community science?


Janet smiling while holding a butterflyJanet Slingerland is the author of over 20 books for young readers, including 12 Epic Animal Adventures. For more activities related to this book, check out this page on Janet’s web site: http://janetsbooks.com/my-books/animals.

STEM Tuesday — Community Science – Book List

More and more individuals today are assisting in the collection of scientific data all over the world. Every person, regardless of age or degree, can make a difference by joining together with other community members or making their own observations. Together our world can be healthier and stronger with community science involvement. Here are our book choices to help you and your students get involved wherever you live! 

The Field Guide to Citizen Science : How You Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Make a Difference by Darlene Cavalier, Caren Cooper,, and Catherine Hoffman

This book from the expert team at SciStarter provides lots of ways for readers to get involved with citizen science projects in their community and discover where their data might lead.

Citizen Scientists: Be A Part of Scientific Discovery From Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz

This Scientists in the Field title from the notable team of Burns and Harasimowicz describes ways to get involved in the Audubon Bird Count, FrogWatch USA, and other community science projects in your own backyard or neighborhood park. 

The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World by Temple Grandin

Professor of animal science and inventor, Temple Grandin, introduces readers to many scientific disciplines and how these disciplines can play a role in everyday observations. A perfect read for curios readers. 

Citizen Science Guide for Families: Taking Part in Real Science by Greg Landgraf

Readers will discover what citizen science is and how they can get involved in Landgraf’s book. This is an accessible read for the entire family. 

Get Into Citizen Science (Get-Into-It Guides) by Vic Kovacs

Track butterfly migration or watch the sky for comets. This book gives examples of how readers can use their skills to make an impact as citizen scientists. 

Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw

Here is an example of how citizen scientists can get involved with one specific species – bats. 

12 Epic Animal Adventures by Janet Slingerland

These animal adventures will connect with curious readers who want to get involved in community science, especially the chapter on sea turtle nest counts.

Be The Change: Rob Greenfield’s Call to Kids – Making A Difference in a Messed-Up World by Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard

There are so many ways to make a difference in our world. This book provides young readers with many simple ways to get started. 

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities by Cylita Guy PhD, Cornelia Li

Community science initiatives happen everywhere, including urban environments. This book delves into the ways city residents can make a difference by observing urban wildlife. 


Photo of DESERTS author Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo , a founding STEM Tuesday team member, has written books about our planet for over 20 years including, THE STORY OF SEEDS, which earned the Green Earth Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.  She strives to inform, inspire, and empower her readers. Nancy also served as Regional Advisor Emeritus of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2022 titles are When the World Runs Dry (Jr Library Guild Selection), The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale (Scientists in the Field) and Buildings That Breathe. Visit her at www.nancycastaldo.com. 

Patricia Newman , a founding STEM Tuesday team member, writes middle-grade nonfiction that empowers young readers to act on behalf of the environment and their communities. Academy Award winner and environmentalist Jeff Bridges calls Planet Ocean a “must read.” Newman, a Sibert Honor author of Sea Otter Heroes, has also received an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Award for Eavesdropping on Elephants, a Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, and a Eureka! Gold Medal from the California Reading Association for Zoo Scientists to the Rescue. Her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists. During author visits, she demonstrates how young readers can use writing to be the voice of change. Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com.

STEM Tuesday– Welcome to our new STEM Tuesday Team Members

We are so excited to welcome new members to the STEM Tuesday team!!  Please take a look at these amazing authors/writers and check out their websites. They are going to be providing us some amazing posts!

Week 1  

Shruthi Rao authorShruthi Rao

Shruthi was that kid who actually enjoyed writing essays in school! She wrote her first novel when she was eleven. It was an Enid Blyton rip-off. It was terrible (so she says). She didn’t write stories for a long time after that. Instead, Shruthi got a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering from one of the top schools of India, and worked in the IT industry for four years.

And then, in the 2000s, she rediscovered my love for writing. Shruthi blogged at Hallucinations! and wrote short stories, and essays for a number of publications. She now writes books for children of all ages, both fiction and non-fiction. www.shruthi-rao.com

20 Indians who changed the world book

India to the Rescue book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan SummersSusan Summers

Susan started her career as a zookeeper and enjoyed working with polar bears, wolves, and owls – to name just a few of her favorite animals. Interest in science and nature firmly took hold and she followed that career by becoming a wildlife biologist. In this engaging field, she was able to participate in research on a variety of wildlife, including bears, bats, and fabulous birds! She wanted to share her interest in nature with children, so she got a Master’s in Education, and went on to teach ecology as a museum educator. She had this rewarding career for over 20 years. Currently, she is focused on becoming an author, writing about science and nature among other things. In the meantime, she lives happily with her husband of 30 years and with two fur children that she’d love to tell you about. She’s thrilled to be part of STEM Tuesday [and looks forward to sharing her enjoyment of this topic with you].

Science magazine

Science Scope

 

 

 

 

 

Callie DeanCallie Dean

Callie Dean is a musician, writer, educator, and program evaluator. She teaches applied research at Eastern University and is passionate about the role of the arts in effecting community transformation. She lives in Shreveport, La., with her husband and two sons.  She is the director of CYBER.ORG, a STEM education organization with a national network of more than 25,000 K-12 teachers. Callie has written a wide variety of K-12 STEM curriculum materials, including nine cybersecurity badges for the Girl Scouts of the USA. She’s an aspiring PB/MG author, a member of SCBWI, and a 2022 PBParty finalist. Her  areas of interest include technology, cybersecurity, citizen science, and the intersection of science with art.  www.sojo.net/biography/callie-dean

 

 

Author Lydia LukidisLydia Lukidis

Lydia Lukidis is the author of 48 trade and educational books, as well as 31 e-Books. Her latest STEM book, THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019), was nominated for a CYBILS Award, and her forthcoming STEM book, DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench will be published by Capstone in 2023. Lydia writes for children aged 3-12, and her artistic mandate is to inspire and enlighten. A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and everlasting curiosity into her books. For more information, please visit www.lydialukidis.com.

broken Bees nest bookThe Space Rock Mystery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2 

Jenna GrodzikiJenna Grodinski

Jenna Grodzicki is the author of more than twenty fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Her books include Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (Millbrook Press 2020) and I See Sea Food: Sea Creatures That Look Like Food (Millbrook Press 2019), the winner of the 2020 Connecticut Book Award in the Young Readers Nonfiction Category. Jenna lives near the beach with her husband and two children. In addition to being a writer, she is also a library media specialist at a K-4 school. To learn more, visit her website at www.jennagrodzicki.com.

I See Seafood book

Wild Style book

 

Week 3 
Margo LemieuxMargo Lemieux

A recently retired professor of art, Margo is devoted to seeing that the A stays in STEAM. Science & technology need the heart that comes with art. It was lack of heart that led to the ecological crisis we have today. The process of creativity is closely related to that of scientific inquiry.

She is a  published picture book writer and illustrator, editor, poet, and amateur ukulele player. In her art projects, she often included science concepts as a way of connecting learning.

 

Week 4

Andi DiehnAndi Diehn

Andi Diehn grew up near the ocean chatting with horseshoe crabs and now lives in the mountains surrounded by dogs, cats, lizards, chickens, ducks, moose, deer, and bobcats, some of which help themselves to whatever she manages to grow in the garden. You are most likely to find her reading a book, talking about books, writing a book, or discussing politics with her sons. She has 18 children’s nonfiction books published or forthcoming. www.andidiehn.com

 

Space Adventurer Book Cool Women in Technology

 

We know you are looking forward to their amazing posts as much as we are! #STEMTuesday #sciencerocks