We are also engaging elementary to high school classrooms in joining us to do scientific research. If you are interested in learning more, refer below for detailed information and samples from our past work. Please reach out to us at citsciedu@amherst.edu if you are interested in joining our project or with any questions or concerns. We look forward to getting in contact with you!

Example lesson plans we have developed for various grade levels

What are the benefits of Citizen Science in the classroom?

Incorporating Citizen Science projects into a classroom setting gives students a unique opportunity to get engaged with real scientific research. They will actively learn about and work through multiple parts of the scientific process. This unique kind of experiential learning allows students to develop a wide breadth of critical learning skills, including critical inquiry, team-based collaboration, and communication skills.

Further, participating in authentic research will provide students with a clearer idea of how research works in the real world. By making research more accessible, students who might have otherwise been intimidated by research may be encouraged to pursue scientific careers in the future. Engaging with research will allow students to develop a strong grasp of the content. We hope that learning about the complex ecosystems in their own backyards will provide students with a greater awareness for conservation issues and encourage them to support community conservation efforts in the long run.

Sample interactive activity designed to engage 5th graders with a food web

What do we do?

We work closely with teachers to develop a strategy to implement Citizen Science in their classroom. This generally involves several components, which we will describe here. We can also modify our plans to fit your needs as much as possible, and we are always working to develop new, engaging teaching methods. If you have any ideas or proposals on how you want to work with us, please feel free to contact us with them!

In order to participate in our research, you can apply to get a trail camera from us or use one of your own. You can set up the camera in an area near your school. Around once per week, you and your students will go out to the camera to collect photos, which you can send to us. The data you collect will be incorporated into our research and directly used to answer questions about mammal distribution around Massachusetts!

Members from our team will be happy to set up meetings with you and your students. We can talk directly to them about the research that we’re doing and help them gain a better sense of what the scientific process looks like.

To introduce relevant content to students, we can develop engaging lesson plans that follow state education standards and fit your needs. You can choose whether you want to implement them in your classroom.

We can also directly engage with students in your classroom with interactive case studies, where they will have the opportunity to work with the data that they’ve collected, developing unique hypotheses and getting feedback on the process.