This is the second post in our series from educators who participated in the Zooniverse Teacher Ambassadors Workshop on August 8-9 at the Adler Planetarium. Today’s blog post comes from Chris Brown middle school science teacher at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns school in Toledo Ohio. This is his fourth year teaching middle school and enjoys introducing students to many areas of science so they can take more interest specific classes when they go on to high school.
I recently attended “Zooniverse Teacher Boot Camp” it was an interesting and enjoyable experience. I met a lot of great teachers from all over the country and really got a feel for how much we all agree that preparing students as the next generation of scientists is of the utmost importance as they will be the ones to help save our planet. Citizen science is a way to get them started and understand that they can make a difference.
Every summer our school district gets together and has a few technology conferences where teachers present to teachers ideas and ways they can use technology in the classroom. I got some great ideas from our two days together on how I want to do that in my community. I plan on having my audience sign up for a Zooniverse account and show them some of the basic features of Zooniverse (the various projects, zooteach lesson plans, and the discussion forums). Then I really want to give them time to dive into projects that interest them or they can use in their classes. I encourage everyone to do this if they can in their area as I find it a great means to share such a great resource as Zooniverse with as many people as possible.
These projects are a great way for your students to get primary resources as many of the scientists who’s data the projects are using are willing to video chat with classes you just have to contact them. The Zooniverse educators, developers, interns, etc. are also willing to help anyway they can and appreciate any feedback or questions you have.