Using Citizen Science Beyond Teaching Science Content: A Strategy for Making Science Relevant to Students’ Lives

June 1st, 2011 | RESEARCH

I respond to Pike and Dunne by exploring the utilization of citizen science in science education. Their results indicate that students fail to pursue science beyond the secondary level, in part, because of prior educational experiences with science education. Students lack motivation to pursue degrees and careers in science because they feel science is not relevant to their lives or they are simply not good at science. With this understanding, the science education community now needs to move beyond a discussion of the problem and move forward with continued discourse on possible solutions. Science educators need to focus on developing connections between students' everyday lives and science so that they will have tangible reasons for continuing with the lifelong learning of science. In this response, I will show that citizen science as an educational context holds much promise, respectively. Participation in citizen science projects moves scientific content from the abstract to the tangible involving students in hands-on, active learning. In addition, if civic projects are centered within their own communities, then the science becomes relevant to their lives because it is focused on topics in their own backyards.


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Team Members

Lynda Jenkins, Author, Dalton State College


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1007/s11422-010-9304-4
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1871-1502

Publication: Cultural Studies of Science Education
Volume: 6
Number: 2
Page(s): 501

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Public Programs