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Education and Citizen Science

Our Founder and Associate Rick Hall has been on his travels again, this time to Switzerland to take part in the Education Working Group of the European Citizen Science Association – which is a title to be reckoned with but is basically exploring how children in school can get involved in Citizen Science projects.

Citizen Science? Science research that involves members of the public in gathering data and evidence. Rick is particularly interested in opportunities for schools to run their own investigations in collaboration with research scientists, which is why Ignite! has been so committed to curiosity-led learning like Lab_13 and the Institute for Research in Schools.

Up in the mountains overlooking Lake Geneva, Rick was joined by 30 Citizen Science experts from across Europe, and including Mary Ford, Education Director of National Geographic based in Washington DC. There were many inspiring projects shared – children investigating the impact of climate change appears to be a common theme, whether that is on sustainable land use in Netherlands, the location of the tree line in Switzerland or coastal ecology in Scotland.

Snow on trees in Leysin

Rick gave a presentation on Lab_13 including the research by Lab_13 Gillespie into mosquitoes, pointing out that there are further opportunities for collaborations across the network. He also entertained the delegates with a demonstration of science busking activities; the Confuserphones were a hit.

The Education Working Group will present some of their considerations and recommendations to the conference of the European Citizen Science Association also in Geneva in June. No doubt Rick will have his bags packed again.

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