Citizen science in a high school science classroom
McAndrews, Sean David
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This study was conducted to determine the impact of adding citizen science projects into a high school science classroom. The primary question of interest was what impact does the inclusion of citizen science projects have on student achievement? I was also interested in evaluating student attitudes about science before and after taking part in citizen science projects, as well as student perceptions of taking part in 'real science' activities in class. Students participated in a pre-treatment test and survey to measure their knowledge and interest in science. They participated in online citizen science projects for three weeks. At the end of the treatment, students completed a post-test and post-survey to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and confidence. Observations of student behavior in class during participation in the project were documented. Finally, randomly-chosen students participated in exit interviews about the project. Student scores on the assessment did show a small increase when compared to pre-treatment values. Measures and observations of student attitudes such as the survey, student journals, and post-treatment interviews did indicate that many students enjoyed participating the project, and that they did perceive that they were assisting with authentic science projects. These results align with previous research studies on the value of incorporating citizen science projects into classrooms. This project allowed me to incorporate new activities and ways of teaching into my science classroom. I was able to test these new activities and methods and evaluate their effectiveness. This will serve as the basis for similar future projects.