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Using Citizen Science to Engage Introductory Students: From Streams to the Solar System

    Authors: Carolin Cardamone1,*, Lisa Lobel1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Mathematics & Science, Wheelock College, Boston, MA 02215
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Mathematics & Science, Wheelock College, 200 Riverway, Boston, MA 02215. Phone: 617-879-2256. E-mail: ccardamone@wheelock.edu.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 117-119. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1082
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    Abstract:

    We present two examples of citizen science learning activities, with discussion of how these activities align with teaching strategies shown to increase retention of under-represented minorities and improve learning for all students in science. For introductory science students from diverse backgrounds, citizen science provides a unique hands-on opportunity to engage students in the process of scientific discovery and to contribute to real science through their curriculum. These tools also increase engagement of science majors and address the current national priority of increasing student retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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References & Citations

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3. Braxton JM, Milem JF, Shaw Sullivan A2000The influence of active learning on the college student departure process: toward a revision of Tinto’s theoryJ Higher Educ7156959010.2307/2649260 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2649260
4. Citizen Science AlliancendWhy citizen science?[Online.] www.citizensciencealliance.org/philosophy.htmlAccessed 15 August 2015
5. Evans C, Abrams E, Reitsma R, Roux K, Salmonsen L, Marra P2005The neighborhood nestwatch program: participant outcomes of a citizen-science ecological research projectConserv Biol19358959410.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00s01.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00s01.x
6. Fortson L, et al2011Galaxy Zoo: morphological classification and citizen science213236 Way MJ, Scargle J, Ali K, Scrivastava AAdvances in Machine Learning and Data Mining for AstronomyCRC Press Taylor & Francis GroupBoca Raton, FL
7. Freeman S, et al2014Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematicsPNAS111238410841510.1073/pnas.1319030111248217564060654 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111
8. Gay P, Lehan C, Moore J, Bracey G, Gugliucci N2014Cosmoquest: a cyber-infrastructure for crowdsourcing planetary surface mapping and moreProceedings of the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Institute Science Conference452927
9. Graham M, Frederick J, Byars-Winston A, Hunter A-B, Handelsman J2013Increasing persistence of college students in STEMScience3411455145610.1126/science.124048724072909 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1240487
10. Gugliucci N, et al2014Citizen science with CosmoQuest: science and strategiesAstronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series483237
11. Holdren JP, Lander E2012President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology Engage to Excel: Producing one million additional college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematicsExecutive Office of the PresidentWashington, DC[Online.] www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-engage-to-excel-final_2-25-12.pdf
12. Jones MT, Barlow AEL, Villarejo M2010Importance of undergraduate research for minority persistence and achievement in biologyJ Higher Educ8118211510.1353/jhe.0.0082 http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jhe.0.0082
13. Masters K2015Science and outreach hand in handXXIX International Astronomical Union General Assembly2015Poster FM1916
14. Price CA, Lee H-S2013Changes in participants’ scientific attitudes and epistemological beliefs during an astronomical citizen science projectJ Res Sci Teach50777380110.1002/tea.21090 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.21090
15. Robbins SJ, et al2014The variability of crater identification among expert and community crater analystsIcarus23410913110.1016/j.icarus.2014.02.022 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2014.02.022
16. Seymour E, Hunter A, Laursen SL, DeAntoni T2004Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: first findings from a three-year studySci Educ8849353410.1002/sce.10131 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.10131
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1082
2016-03-01
2017-08-19

Abstract:

We present two examples of citizen science learning activities, with discussion of how these activities align with teaching strategies shown to increase retention of under-represented minorities and improve learning for all students in science. For introductory science students from diverse backgrounds, citizen science provides a unique hands-on opportunity to engage students in the process of scientific discovery and to contribute to real science through their curriculum. These tools also increase engagement of science majors and address the current national priority of increasing student retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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