In March, 2018, LAS hosted a 2.5-day workshop on using citizen science to inspire students and teachers in their school-based science education. The workshop was funded by COST Action (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and co-organized by learning and education working groups within COST and the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).
The workshop was designed to inspire and foster critical discussion between participants from overlapping communities: educational researchers, scientists, science educators, and teachers.
All talks were filmed for the series of videos you see here. The goal is to learn alongside a distinguished group of science educators and researchers. Questions from the audience often prompted the most interesting insights, as you’ll discover in the final minutes of each video.
Presentations from COST Action Leysin
Click on a title to be taken to its video presentation on our YouTube channel.
Janice Ansine, PhD
Senior Project Manager – Citizen Science in the Faculty of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), The Open University, U.K.
Dr. Ansine manages projects that facilitate learning journeys using innovative, easily accessible web-based tools and resources. Her talk “iSpotnature.org: a citizen science platform for learning and teaching about biodiversity” showcased how iSpot facilitates learning about biodiversity, highlighting a five-step model: explore, identify, contribute, personalise, and recognition. It also shared highlights from a new Open University free course under development entitled “Citizen science and global biodiversity”.
Director of Education Programs at National Geographic Society, USA
Keynote: “The Explorer Mindset”
Before directing education at the Society, Ms. Ford was their Senior Manager for Citizen Science. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental science and policy from Harvard University and a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her career has focused on environmental education and citizen science. She has worked at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the World Wildlife Fund, the Council for Environmental Education, and the National Audubon Society. She has taught preschool, middle school, and high school, and has done ecology research from Borneo to Siberia. Ms. Ford has served on the board of the North American Association for Environmental Education, the Education Operating Committee of the American Forest Foundation, and the board and Education Working Group of the Citizen Science Association.
In her keynote talk, Ms. Ford described her field research on orangutans and her National Geographic expedition experiences swimming with Arctic icebergs, among many other adventures in science. Her breakout session encouraged students to ask behind-the-scenes questions about the world’s most famous natural history organization.
Project Officer, European Citizen Science Association
Keynote: “Hacking for Science”
Ms. Gold is a mobile industry veteran now applying mobile and web technologies in the fields of Citizen Science and Citizen Observatories – where anyone can take part in scientific research and environmental data collection. Currently a Project Officer at the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) on the WeObserve project, she has also worked at the Natural History Museum in London in the Digital Collections Programme inviting the public to help transcribe the labels of digitally imaged specimens. For more than 15 years she worked with entrepreneurs and inventors to launch new businesses to market. She has also run numerous creative collaboration events, including Hack Days and ThinkCamps. Ms. Gold was also the Co-Founder & Co-Organiser of Over the Air, London’s Annual Tech Fest celebrating software development as a creative pursuit, which ran for 9 years. Her move into the field of Citizen Science started as a consortium partner in the FP7 funded Citizen Cyberlab project as Director and Co-Founder of The Mobile Collective.
In addition to her keynote, “Hacking for Science”, Ms. Gold led a student breakout session, “There’s an App for that!”, in which students brainstormed what brand new app they might invent for science, using the technology built into their smartphones.
Hannah Grist, PhD
CoCoast Project Officer, Scottish Association for Marine Science
Dr. Grist coordinates the Scotland region of the Capturing Our Coast programme at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Capturing Our Coast is a large-scale multi-partner citizen science project working with thousands of volunteers across the UK to record and understand biodiversity. Previously, Dr. Grist developed a citizen science project as part of her PhD investigating population dynamics and migration in European shags, and has worked as an outdoor educator in inner city Glasgow, connecting adults and young people with urban nature. Dr. Grist’s parallel session discussed “Capturing our Coast: citizen science on the edge”.
Founder and Associate, Ignite!
Mr. Hall founded and now is an associate at a Nottingham-based charity, Ignite!, which promotes creativity and curiosity in programs for learning, in schools, and in local communities. Lab_13 is their program in schools, where children run their own lab space for experiments and other investigations. Lab_13s are currently in Nottingham, London, and other parts of the UK as well as in Finland and Ghana. Taking the principles of Lab_13’s participant-led, curiosity-driven investigations into community centers, youth centers, and libraries is the idea behind Community Curiosity Labs. Mr. Hall is especially interested in citizen science projects that are co-created/designed by the participants. Ignite! Is coordinating such projects in youth settings about air quality this spring. Mr. Hall’s plenary described two U.K. initiatives designed to offer students opportunities for research and other investigations that are driven by their curiosity: IRIS (Institute for Research in Schools) and Lab_13.
Mr. Hall’s breakout session for students used “Science Busking Tricks” to engage students in science with cheap and easy-to-find household objects including string, ear defenders, and chicken wire.
Director, Alpine Institute at the Leysin American School in Switzerland
After a long career in adventure journalism, Mr. Harlin returned to his roots in science and Switzerland by launching the Alpine Institute, which coordinates citizen science and outdoor education at the Leysin American School. He is the co-chair of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA)’s working group on learning and education.
Mr. Harlin’s plenary talk (co-presented with Dan Patton) shared LAS’s LETS Study Leysin project (LETS = Local Elevation Transect Survey) and the school’s desire to launch a worldwide network of mountain schools doing transects of their own backyards, thus creating a global school-based project: LETS Study Climate.
Maaike de Heij, PhD
Project manager SUSTAIN, University of Groningen
Dr. de Heij works at Science LinX, the science center of the Faculty Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Here, she coordinates educational programs for secondary school pupils to stimulate their interest in STEM. She also coordinates outreach activities at science festivals. Since September 2017, she is project coordinator of the Erasmus+ project SUSTAIN. SUSTAIN aims to engage pupils at secondary schools and their families in research project on bird migration and water management. The 12 partners will develop e-learning modules on “sustainable landscapes” in Spain, Cyprus, and the Netherlands, linking learning inside and outside the classroom. Dr. de Heij’s parallel session shared insights on “Engaging pupils in ‘citizen science’ research projects on sustainable landscapes”.
Tania Jenkins, PhD
Co-founder of EvoKE (Evolutionary Knowledge for Everyone), Bern, Switzerland
Dr. Jenkins is a scientist-turned science communicator. Half-way into her second postdoc in ecology she discovered her passion for outreach. Since then, she has worked in museums and universities creating scientific exhibitions, workshops, science festivals, and immersive games. She believes in breaking barriers between scientists and the public, which leads her to host science “speed-dating” events where members of the public can speak to a range of researchers and explore a range of research topics. In her previous role at the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne she organised an event series where visitors would do research with a scientist in the exhibition. She co-founded EvoKE (Evolutionary Knowledge for Everyone) to promote higher scientific literacy in evolution, which she explained in this talk. Dr. Jenkins’ parallel session explained her project EvoKE: Evolutionary Knowledge for Everyone.
Science teacher, Kääpa School, Estonia
Ms. Jõgeva studied biology at the University of Tartu and works as a biology, chemistry and natural science teacher in Kääpa School in the south of Estonia. Her pupils are 11-16 years old. She is keen on finding ways to make learning natural sciences more engaging to students: outdoors, museums, science centers, whatever it takes. In 2000 her school joined the GLOBE Program and since then she has been a GLOBE teacher, which she feels is a good example of citizen science in schools. Her pupils have collected data on the atmosphere and hydrosphere; some have even written research papers. They learn how to gather and analyze data and understand the rules of scientific research. Through GLOBE, she coordinates on projects with five schools in Europe. Ms. Jõgeva’s session reflected on her experiences implementing citizen science in Estonian schools using GLOBE.
Assistant country coordinator for GLOBE in The Netherlands; geography teacher at Rembrandt College
“Lessons from GLOBE National Light Measurements & Thoughts on Cooperatively Researching the Rhine River”
Mr. Kabbes co-designed a project for sustainable urban lighting called GLOBE National Light Measurement. Students all over the Netherlands build their own spectroscope in science or geography class. The teacher assigns the students a neighborhood by using a GIS-environment. The students visit the neighborhood and observe through their spectroscope which kind of lighting residents use: incandescent, compact fluorescent, or LED. Data is entered in GIS. Schools in urban environments have to be creative in finding research sites for citizen science. This is one example. Jelle is looking for partners for international citizen science projects studying weather and water on shared rivers. Besides the scientific goals and student development, he’s keen on the cultural, social, and language skills that citizen science can support. Mr. Kabbes’ plenary session shared lessons from GLOBE National Light Measurements and his thoughts on cooperatively researching the Rhine River.
Watch the video “Nationale lichtmeting videoreactie Milieu Centraal” directly on YouTube.
Gunta Kalvāne, PhD
University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences
Dr. Kalvāne manages the geography teachers’ study programs at the University of Latvia. Her research, including her PhD thesis, is about phenology, a perfect subject for citizen science. She has adapted a mobile app for phenological observations, elaborated guidelines for voluntary phenological observations, and organized citizen-science promotion campaigns. She’s actively collaborating with two NGOs: Latvian 4H club as expert on environmental projects (students are exploring using old mobile phones) and activities. She especially enjoys organizing seminars, camps, and workshops for kids, as well for teachers). She’s also the GLOBE Project trainer for the Children’s Environmental School.
Juhani Kettunen, PhD
Finnish Environment Institute
Dr. Kettunen is responsible for modernizing national environmental monitoring systems in the Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE. They’re now in a piloting phase, with key information sources coming from satellites and other remote sensing data, automatic field sensors, citizen data, and algorithmically combining diverse sources of data. They see schools as having an important role in both data collection and as active users of the official data that was opened to the Finnish public in 2008. His plenary session discussed digital platforms and field tools for environmental education.
Dr. Kettunen’s breakout session with students used a Pokemon Go-style game called Seppo that he’s prototyping for the upcoming ECSA conference in Geneva. Teams will use orientation skills to follow geographic clues, then report their solutions using smartphones. The instructors will remotely follow the game and supply immediate responses such as “Well done, proceed to next checkpoint”. By using SYKE’s platform, anyone can be an instructor and devise such a game in less than an hour. His plenary session discussed digital platforms and field tools for environmental education.
Geography and computer science teacher at Complex of Schools No. 5 in Zabrze, Poland. Scientix Ambassador in Poland. GLOBE Program teacher. Coordinator for Science Day and STEM Discovery Week
Ms. Kwiatek-Grabarska graduated from the Faculty of Earth Sciences at the University of Silesia in Katowice in the field of geography. Postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Informatics and Materials Science in the field of computer science. From the beginning of her professional career, she has been involved in the implementation of many educational projects at national and international level. She is an active teacher of the GLOBE Program. She encourages students to become interested in science by organizing numerous workshop trips to scientific institutions, outdoor research, tourist and sightseeing trips, as well as annual competitions for students. In her talk she asks, “Can students be citizen scientist?”
Student assistant at ECSA working on the DITOs (Doing it Together Science) project
Ms. Maskell’s background is in urban environmental education, leading workshops, teaching in afterschool programs, and writing curriculum for school-aged children and teens on food systems, urban green infrastructure, sound in the city, and urban ecology. At DITOs she’s developing a Europe-wide student challenge. Ms. Maskell’s parallel session was “Multimedia Science Storytelling”, which described the DITOs online student challenge for sharing visual and multimedia stories about citizen science and student-led projects in and around the classroom. Her Globe Day breakout session tested visual storytelling with students. After a short brainstorming session, students crafted an environmental story in the media of their choice: drawn, collaged, photographed, sculpted, or multimedia.
Researcher at Institute of Biometeorology of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IBIMET)
With a background in software engineering and applied meteorology, since 2005 Mr. Massetti has been exploring innovative methodologies in science and environmental education following a citizen science approach. He focuses on inquiry-based learning, experimental activities, and location-based game development. He has been involved in such projects as Carboschools+, ACARISS, INVOLEN, RAISE ENVIMOBILE (Erasmus+), and various local projects.
In his plenary talk, Mr. Massetti discussed challenges with integrating citizen science into the curricula, which requires considerable effort from teachers. Compounding the challenge, it can be difficult to engage students when these activities have not been voluntarily chosen. What actually motivates teachers to participate in citizen science activities, and what conditions support this?
Geography and biology teacher, GLOBE school coordinator, and Environmental Education Coordinator at the Kunratice Elementary School, Prague; national GLOBE coordinator assistant for CIVIS and Methodic Consultant at TEREZA Educational Centre, Prague
Educated at the Faculty of Natural Science, Palacky University, Olomouc, and the Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Brno, Mr. Mazůrek is working on the project Tajný život města (Secret life of the city). They are observing nature near their school and popularizing this approach in the community (by making “Quests” for the public). He’s also working with his students on “School in the Forest – Forest at School”, is a consultant on CIVIS (Focused on Citizen Competences–training teachers in IBSE methods), and was involved in the MASS project conference in Cologne and the GLOBE Regional Meeting and Training conference in Israel.
Bent Mikkelsen, PhD
Scientific coordinator of the Gastronarium Street science Experimentarium Centre, the food part of the Universitarium and the Campus’n Community program, Department of Learning & Philosophy, Allborg University, Denmark
Dr. Mikkelsen has authored a large number of publications on public health nutrition and sustainable public food systems. He is the principal investigator on several research projects and his work includes several assignments on nutrition at schools and hospitals for the Council of Europe, food and nutrition at work for the Nordic Council of Ministers, healthy eating at school for the European WHO regional office and the EU platform for Health, Diet and Physical activity. He is a Professor of at Dept of Learning & Philosophy at Aalborg University and the past president of the EU expert committee for the School Fruit Scheme (SFS). He is on advisory boards for ProMeal, Glamur, VeggieEat, and FoodLinks EU projects, among others. He is the principal investigator on the SoL Multi-Level Multi-Component community intervention on healthy eating. He is a member of the COST action on Citizen Science and the chief developer of the FoodScape lab at Aalborg University, the Gastronarium, and principal investigator of the Food’n Science learning program. The program aims to create a participatory citizen science around food issues and to promote food and nutrition literacy as part of school science teaching.
Dr. Mikkelsen’s plenary explored social dynamics and patterns of engagement in citizen science – how to engage citizens and young people at school in the development of a social learning space at Food Sense & Science in Boxtown Aalborg. The Boxtown facility is a “food hotspot” in the city of Aalborg that integrates street food, food market with a science and experience centre under the Gastronarium headline.
Science teacher at Leysin American School
Following earning his masters in education and his bachelor’s in science from the University of Alaska, Mr. Patton has been teaching high school for a decade. At the Leysin American School Dan was a co-founder of the school’s main citizen science project, LETS Study Leysin, as well as the student exposition conference, Globe Day. His science classes involve considerable hands-on participation from students, including experiments with aquaponics, building robot gardeners, and designing and printing in 3D. He co-chairs the STEAM committee for ECIS, the Educational Collaborative of International Schools.
Mr. Patton’s plenary talk (co-presented with John Harlin) shared LAS’s LETS Study Leysin project (LETS = Local Elevation Transect Survey) and the school’s desire to launch a worldwide network of mountain schools doing transects of their own backyards, thus creating a global school-based project: LETS Study Climate.
ScienceAtHome, Aarhus University, Denmark
Ms. Rafner is a Master’s Degree candidate and incoming doctoral program researcher in citizen science and gamification. She was formerly a U.S. Fulbright Fellow, with degrees in physics and studio art from the University of Virginia, and interned with the Physics Reimagined program at Paris Sud. She is the project manager under a Lundbeck Foundation grant for her Turbulence citizen science game, and was the rapporteur for the founding of the Think Like a Scientist (TLS) program. She has been a keynote conference speaker and organized science outreach events, including events for middle school girls.
Ms. Rafner’s parallel talk on “How Gamification and Design Empower Citizen Science” explored how visualization can make seemingly incomprehensible science phenomena accessible to people’s everyday lives and showed that gamification offers the potential to take it to the next level. Computational citizen science games can empower the public to better understand and directly participate in research. How can we best exploit the use of games for research, education, and public engagement?
University of Stirling, U.K.
As a PhD candidate researcher at the University of Stirling, Scotland, Mr. Ruck is investigating a school-based citizen science and habitat restoration project called Polli:Nation. The program engages pupils from 260 primary and secondary schools across the UK in the active transformation of their school grounds into pollinator-friendly habitats, as well as in monitoring the effects of this work through contributions to a large-scale habitat survey. He spent the academic year of 2016-17 as an active participant in this project, carrying out participant-observation, focus groups with pupils, and interviews with teachers and project staff.
Mr. Ruck’s plenary, “Signposts for citizen science practice in educational contexts”, shared insights into the successes and challenges of this attempt to embed citizen science into a mainstream curricular context. He outlined four “signposts for practice” in order to maximise the learning potential of citizen science projects for young people. These are handily summarised as “4 Rs”: Regular, Real, Relevant, and Responsive (with and in place).
GLOBE Country Coordinator in Switzerland
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Announced by the U.S. Government on Earth Day in 1994, GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995. GLOBE offers numerous formal education opportunities for all schools in the 119 GLOBE countries around the world. In recent years, even more specific offers have been launched in the field of citizen science going beyond the education sector–for example, GLOBE Observer on the subject of Clouds or Mosquitos. In Switzerland, GLOBE is well represented in all parts of the country and in the meantime anchored in teacher education, as the GLOBE offers here in Switzerland are curriculum compatible.
Ms. Vogel was unable to attend, but she sent these two YouTube videos and a poster about the GLOBE Program:
COST Action workshop participants who did not present before the cameras:
Maria Aristeidou, PhD
Postdoctoral research associate at The Open University, U.K.
Dr. Aristeidou works for LEARN CitSci, an international collaborative research project that aims to understand how young people develop environmental science agency through their participation in citizen science programs at the Natural History Museum.
Dr. Aristeidou’s Globe Day breakout for students talked about citizen science for young people using Tomorrow’s World nQuire. The nQuire-it platform is currently being developed to run large-scale studies linked to BBC programs. They are researching new ways for young people to engage in social science studies. To this end, she invited students to participate in investigations on “nutrition” and “use of social media” that will help to improve the program with their comments and suggestions.
Project manager for DITOs (Doing It Together Science) at the Université Paris Descartes’ Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity.
Ms. Baïz is writing a policy brief for the European Commission about Citizen Science & Education. After long experience in the public sector (Hospital, Ministry, OECD, Radio France) and private sector (innovation consultancy, associations), Ms. Baïz joined the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity to become the Doing-It-Together-science (DITOs) EU project manager in France. DITOs is a citizen science outreach project that aims to increase public participation in scientific research and innovation across Europe, but also to build the institutional and policy foundations for sustained deep public engagement that enables people to contribute at a level of participation suitable for them.
During Glode Day breakout session for students, Ms. Baïz led a brainstorming session on challenge-based learning and teaching.
Graduate student, University of Neuchâtel
Ms. Eufémi is in the final year of her master degree in sociocultural psychology at the University of Neuchâtel. She studies transformative social research and theater performance, in a research project from the University of Neuchâtel called “Théâtre de la Connaissance”. Her research includes building connections between science and the city. She is also research assistant for a study of informal learning, connection to nature, and science education in the LETS program.
Laure Kloetzer, PhD
Assistant professor in sociocultural psychology, Institut de Psychologie & Education (IPE), Université de Neuchâtel
Dr. Kloetzer teaches historico-cultural psychology of learning and development at the University of Neuchâtel. She has been researching engagement, informal learning, and creativity in citizen science in the EU Citizen Cyberlab project. She uses developmental and collaborative methods for social transformation. She also chairs the European Citizen Science Association’s working group on learning and education, as well as the COST Action working group of the same name. Ms. Kloetzer co-organized this COST Action workshop.
Paul Magnuson, PhD
Director of Leysin American School Educational Research (LASER). Director of LAS Middle School
Dr. Magnuson’s PhD is in curriculum & instruction from the University of Minnesota; his MA is in English as a Second Language; his BA in philosophy and music. At the Leysin American School he spearheads diverse projects that support innovation in education, including the approaches he’s taken to founding and developing the school’s new middle school program.
Science teacher at Leysin American School
In addition to teaching International Baccalaureate (IB)-level Biology and Chemistry to high school students, Ms. Passant-Coy is a qualified outdoor instructor, science tutor and secondary education consultant. She has taught at secondary schools and outdoor education centres across Europe. She believes that engaging with the natural world by active participation in educational projects such as citizen science as well as participating in outdoor pursuits can deliver huge benefit to any individual, regardless of background or experience. As head of biology at Pamoja Education, Ms. Passant-Coy piloted the first online IB Biology course.
Nicolas Pope, PhD
Department of Future Technologies at the University of Turku, Finland
Dr. Pope’s background is in educational technology to support informal modelling activities by life-long learners. More recently he shifted toward co-design activities in a classroom setting supported by technology. His research group on Interaction Design is putting together a project proposal to “viralise” and open up networks of schools and external partners who co-create educational citizen science activities with professional scientists in their communities. One of the objectives is to equalise the relationships between experts, children, and their families to improve the image of experts and of science generally. A key element to improving image is to make sure citizens involvement in the activity is genuine, which is where Finnish expertise in the Scandinavian participatory culture comes in.
Elisa Radosta, PhD
Adjointe scientifique, Bioscope – Université de Genève
Dr. Radosta is a biologist with PhD in Cancer Research. After taking a family break and doing a post doc, she collaborated in creating the Bioscope program at the University of Geneva. At the Bioscope she is in charge the European project on citizen science known as DITOs (Doing It Together Science) and of organizing a public event to launch the next European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) conference in Geneva in June 2018.
PhD candidate working on Bioscope, the public outreach laboratory of the University of Geneva
Ms. Silveira has a masters degree in tropical botany. She worked as a guide at the alpine garden of Champex-Lac and as a secondary teacher in Geneva public schools. She is currently working on a PhD thesis investigating the educational value of a citizen science project at Bioscope, the public outreach laboratory of the University of Geneva.
Silvia Winter, PhD
BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Dr. Winter works on citizen science projects with school children, designing protocols and fact sheets for biodiversity data, education on citizen science for teachers, pupils and university students, ecosystem services, and conservation biology. She is co-chair of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) working groups “Develop synergies with education”, which focuses on the learning outcomes of CS projects, and “Enhance the role of citizen science for civil society”.
The COST Action Workshop on Citizen Science in Education was organized by Laure Kloetzer (firstname.lastname@example.org), John Harlin (email@example.com), and Silvia Winter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click on the upper left corner of the YouTube COST Action playlist below to watch the videos inside this browser window.
Posters and videos from participants.
GLOBE DAY INFO:
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology): http://www.cost.eu/
ECSA (European Citizen Science Association): https://ecsa.citizen-science.net/
Leysin American School in Switzerland: https://www.las.ch/
Place: Leysin American School, Leysin, Switzerland