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MSP News: Citizen Science

June 15, 2017



NEWS IN BRIEF


Announcement
1. Webinar - NSF Opportunities: Broadening Participation in STEM
June 22, 2017 at 12:30pm EDT

New in Resources
1. SciStarter, database of citizen science projects which enables discovery, organization, and greater participation in science.

New STEM+C Paper
1. "Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools," Lauren B. Birney, Erica Watson-Currie, Kartik Jha, Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools STEM+C, Radical Pedagogy, Winter 2017. (See Related Video Below)

New in Library
1. "Contribution of Multimedia to Girls’ Experience of Citizen Science," Barbara N. Flagg, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, November 2016. (See Related Video Below)
2. "Co-inventing the Climate Lab: First lessons from an innovative partnership," Brian Drayton, Gillian Puttick, Abe Drayton, Trevor Lloyd-Evans, TERC Hands On!, Spring 2015. (See Related Video Below)
3. "Youth-focused citizen science: Examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation," Heidi L. Ballard, Colin G.H. Dixon, Emily M. Harris, Biological Conservation, April 2017.
4. "The Validation of the Citizen Science Self-Efficacy Scale (CSSES)," Suzanne E. Hiller, Anastasia Kitsantas, International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2016.

2017 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature videos on Citizen Science. View more videos on citizen science in the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase.

Title: Hands-on learning research that benefits the economy, environment.

Presenter(s):Lauren Birney, Joyce Kong

Title: Citizen SciGirls: Contribution of Multimedia to Girls’ Experience of Citizen Science, Summative Evaluation of SciGirls Season Three

Presenter(s): Sarah Carter, Richard Hudson

Title: The Climate Lab: schools as satellite field stations

Presenter(s): Brian Drayton, Evan Dalton, Abe Drayton, Trevor Lloyd-Evans, Gillian Puttick



DETAILS BELOW


Announcement
1. Webinar - NSF Opportunities: Broadening Participation in STEM

June 22, 2017 at 12:30pm EDT
The NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources is hosting a free webinar.
Administrators, faculty, researchers, evaluators, and other STEM leaders are invited to learn more about funding opportunities at the NSF specifically targeting underrepresented groups in STEM and Minority Serving Institutions as well as other funding opportunities.
NSF Program Officers will be presenting and answering questions in real time.

Register Here: https://edc.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3F7pJECbnw9T6X



New in Resources
1. SciStarter

"SciStarter is the place to find, join, and contribute to science through more than 1,600 formal and informal research projects, events and tools. Our database of citizen science projects enables discovery, organization, and greater participation in science. This is also the place to track your contributions, bookmark things you like, and access the tools and instruments needed to get started."

MSPnet Location: Resources >> Useful Websites
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31847



New STEM+C Paper
1. "Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools," Lauren B. Birney, Erica Watson-Currie, Kartik Jha, Radical Pedagogy, Winter 2017.

" Active investigation of students engaging in problem solving in natural settings has consistently been shown to greatly benefit their learning process. They gain skills and knowledge, while increasing their interest, aspirations, and motivation to learn more. But how can we provide these rich opportunities in densely populated urban areas where resources and access to natural environments are limited? The Curriculum + Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) project has developed and begun testing an educational model of curriculum and community enterprise to address that issue within the nation's largest urban school system. Middle school students study the New York Harbor estuary and the extensive watershed that empties into it, while conducting field research in support of restoring native oyster habitats. This project builds on the existing Billion Oyster Project, and is being implemented across different settings by a broad partnership of institutions and community stakeholders, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, the River Project, the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, and Good Shepherd Services."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31842


New in Library
1. "Contribution of Multimedia to Girls’ Experience of Citizen Science," Barbara N. Flagg, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, November 2016.

"The mixed methods randomized experimental study assessed a model of engagement and education that examined the contribution of SciGirls multimedia to fifth grade girls' experience of citizen science. The treatment group (n = 49) experienced 2 hours of SciGirls videos and games at home followed by a 2.5 hour FrogWatch USA citizen science session. The control group (n = 49) experienced the citizen science session without prior exposure to SciGirls. Data from post surveys and interviews revealed that treatment girls, compared to control girls, demonstrated significantly greater interest in their FrogWatch USA session and significantly greater learning about the unique features of the practice of citizen science. Both treatment and control groups were moderately interested in finding out more about other citizen science projects and somewhat likely to look for another citizen science project to do in the future. Both groups displayed equal and high self-efficacy ratings with respect to their FrogWatch USA session and future citizen science projects. Within the treatment group, prior exposure to SciGirls multimedia produced a significantly stronger impact on minority girls than non-minority girls for interest and self-efficacy in citizen science. Treatment girls felt that SciGirls multimedia showed them the process and practice of citizen science, demonstrated the fun of citizen science, and presented peers with whom they could identify. Incorporating multimedia is recommended as an effective method for influencing girls' citizen science interest, self-efficacy and learning."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31843


2. "Co-inventing the Climate Lab: First lessons from an innovative partnership," Brian Drayton, Gillian Puttick, Abe Drayton, Trevor Lloyd-Evans, TERC Hands On!, Spring 2015.

"How is a Where's Waldo puzzle like a graph depicting fifty years of average temperatures? In both, the key elements to focus on are disguised by an overwhelming amount of visual noise. Despite the apparent jumble of information, each presents discernable patterns. The trick to finding the "signal" among the "noise" is to assemble a large amount of data.
Getting students in the habit of looking for the signal or trend in a data set is the goal of the first activity in a new climate change unit for the Climate Lab, a prototype education program at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. Students begin the activity by looking at Where's Waldo search and find puzzles and consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the game? (Answer - to find Waldo)
  • What is the purpose of everything in the puzzle that is not Waldo? (Answer - to make it hard to find Waldo)
  • What help do we have in finding Waldo? (We know what he looks like, and we know he's there)
  • Based on this picture, would you be able to predict Waldo's location in other pictures? (?)

The activity then progresses as students continue to explore signal vs. noise in the context of weather vs. climate. They examine graphs showing the average annual temperature in Massachusetts over 50 years, first looking at small subsets of data from short periods. They consider several questions and make predictions and then continue their exploration by looking at larger sets of data and how those data sets impact their predictions of future temperature. These initial activities, along with several others focused on ecology and biology, comprise a one-week unit designed to help the Climate Lab participants get the most out of their field observation and data collection work, which is a primary part of the program."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31844


3. "Youth-focused citizen science: Examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation," Heidi L. Ballard, Colin G.H. Dixon, Emily M. Harris, Biological Conservation, April 2017.

"Citizen science by youth is rapidly expanding, but very little research has addressed the ways programs meet the dual goals of rigorous conservation science and environmental science education. We examined case studies of youth-focused community and citizen science (CCS) and analyzed the learning processes and outcomes, and stewardship activities for youth, as well as contributions to site and species management, each as conservation outcomes. Examining two programs (one coastal and one water quality monitoring) across multiple sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, in- and out-of-school settings, we qualitatively analyzed in-depth observations and pre- and post-program interviews with youth and educators. First, we examined evidence from the programs' impacts on conservation in the form of contribution to site and species management. We found that youth work informed regional resource management and local habitat improvement. Second, we examined the youth participants' environmental science agency (ESA). ESA combines not only understanding of environmental science and inquiry practices, but also the youths' identification with those practices and their developing belief that the ecosystem is something on which they act. We found that youth developed different aspects of environmental science agency in each context. We identify three key CCS processes through which many of the youth developed ESA: ensuring rigorous data collection, disseminating scientific findings to authentic external audiences, and investigating complex social-ecological systems. Our findings suggest that when CCS programs for youth support these processes, they can foster youth participation in current conservation actions, and build their capacity for future conservation actions."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31845


4. "The Validation of the Citizen Science Self-Efficacy Scale (CSSES)," Suzanne E. Hiller, Anastasia Kitsantas, International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2016.

"Citizen science programs provide opportunities for students to help professional scientists while fostering science achievement and motivation. Instruments which measure the effects of this type of programs on student motivational beliefs are limited. The purpose of this study was to describe the process of examining the reliability and validity of The Citizen Science Self-Efficacy Scale (CSSES) designed to measure the effectiveness of citizen science programs on student self-efficacy for scientific observation skills. Fifteen (n =15) field experts and 248 (n = 248) eighth grade students participated in three studies. The results suggest that the psychometric properties of this scale are sufficient. Implications for the development and utility of self-efficacy scales in a variety of citizen science contexts are discussed. The aim of the present study is twofold: (a) to establish the psychometric properties of a scale developed to measure student self-efficacy beliefs for scientific observations in citizen science programs and (b) to describe the process in the validation of a self-efficacy scale to support researchers who want to create their own scales for similar citizen science programs. Three studies were conducted to develop the Citizen Science Scale (CSSES) and evaluate its psychometric properties. The purpose of the CSSES was to develop a measure suitable for analysis within a social cognitive career framework and informal natural science contexts. The findings in the present study found that the measure had an acceptable unitary factorial structure and high internal reliability of .89 for the CSSES. The purpose of the Citizen Science Self-Efficacy Scale (CSSES) is to assess individual's beliefs about their capabilities for scientific observational skills. This scale is applicable to measuring individual's self-efficacy in outdoor learning contexts (e.g., horseshoe crab citizen science context). Given that self-efficacy is a strong predictor of academic achievement and motivation, self-efficacy scales like the CSSES may provide a way for stakeholders involved in outdoor education to measure student gains and to substantiate program effectiveness. From a methods standpoint, the contribution of this work is to serve as a guide of how to develop a self-efficacy scale."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31846


2017 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature videos on Citizen Science. View more videos on citizen science in the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase.

Title: Hands-on learning research that benefits the economy, environment.

Presenter(s):Lauren Birney, Joyce Kong
Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences. They gain skills, interests, knowledge, aspirations, and motivation to learn more. But how can we provide these rich opportunities in densely populated urban areas where resources and access to natural areas are limited? This project will develop and test a model of curriculum and community enterprise to address that issue within the nation's largest urban school system. Middle school students will study New York harbor and the extensive watershed that empties into it, and they will conduct field research in support of restoring native oyster habitats. The project builds on the existing Billion Oyster Project, and will be implemented by a broad partnership of institutions and community resources, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and others. The project focuses on an important concept in the geological, environmental, and biological sciences that typically receives inadequate attention in schools: watersheds. This project builds on and extends the Billion Oyster Project of the New York Harbor School. The project model includes five interrelated components: A teacher education curriculum, a student learning curriculum, a digital platform for project resources, an aquarium exhibit, and an afterschool STEM mentoring program. It targets middle-school students in low-income neighborhoods with high populations of English language learners and students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields and education pathways. The project will directly involve over forty schools, eighty teachers, and 8,640 students over a period of three years. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods research plan will be used to assess the individual and collective effectiveness of the five project components. Regression analyses will be used to identify effective program aspects and assess the individual effectiveness of participation in various combinations of the five program components. Social network mapping will be used to further asses the overall "curriculum plus community" model.

Title: Citizen SciGirls: Contribution of Multimedia to Girls’ Experience of Citizen Science, Summative Evaluation of SciGirls Season Three

Presenter(s): Sarah Carter, Richard Hudson
The Citizen SciGirls project includes videos and online games that engage children in citizen science. A third-party summative evaluation led by Multimedia Research’s Dr. Barbara Flagg examined how SciGirls’ multimedia content contributed to girls’ experience of citizen science.

Fifth grade girls at five geographically diverse sites were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The treatment group experienced citizen science-themed SciGirls episodes and games, followed by a live citizen science session with the FrogWatch USA project. The control group only experienced the live citizen science session without prior SciGirls exposure. Dr. Flagg’s evaluation specifically examined how SciGirls multimedia contributed to girls’ (1) interest in the FrogWatch session and citizen science generally, (2) self-efficacy in the FrogWatch session and citizen science generally, and (3) learning about the practice of citizen science.

The treatment group demonstrated significantly higher levels of interest than the control group in their live session and significantly better understanding of citizen science. Within this treatment group, minority girls were even more strongly impacted by pre-exposure to SciGirls compared to their non-minority peers. For example, these diverse girls displayed higher interest in their FrogWatch session, in finding out more about other citizen science projects, a greater likelihood to look for a future citizen science activities, greater perceived efficacy in doing other citizen science projects, more similarity to the video girls, and stronger interest in their SciGirls experience.

Title: The Climate Lab: schools as satellite field stations

Presenter(s): Brian Drayton, Evan Dalton, Abe Drayton, Trevor Lloyd-Evans, Gillian Puttick
The Climate Lab is a partnership of the Manomet Center, a research station in Plymouth, MA, and TERC, a non-profit institution focusing on science and math education. The video describes exploratory work over the past two years. Middle school students from around the region contribute to Manomet's research on climate change, and use a TERC-developed curriculum to learn about climate change and its impacts on the human and natural communities of New England.