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Engaging in the process of science using the FieldScope community and citizen science platform

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Engaging in the process of science using the FieldScope community and citizen science platform

By Jessica R. Bean, Ph.D., UC Berkeley.

Throughout my career as a scientist and educator, I have strived to provide opportunities for learners of all ages to engage in the process of science in ways that are relevant and connected to their lives. As the Director of Outreach and Science for the FieldScope Project based at BSCS Science Learning, I support the use of the FieldScope web-based tools to support young learners and the public to collect and analyze community and citizen science data to understand the world around them and take informed actions. FieldScope is a powerful tool for young people and their communities to use data to make change.

FieldScope is a map-based data collection and analysis platform for citizen and community science projects, or other datasets that you want to share. The platform is a tool for engaging with data that can help communities understand environmental and social challenges and help learners of all ages make meaning of datasets and turn data into stories.

FieldScope is used in a variety of educational and community settings and is a great fit for out-of-school time programs looking to engage young people in STEM to identify community needs and create stories for change. The Invitations to Inquiry Lessons provide an introduction to the platform tools for informal or formal educators to guide explorations of existing FieldScope datasets. In these 2-4 hour activities, students manipulate data and interpret graphs and maps to answer questions about environmental phenomena, such as light pollution or possible sources of nutrients or heavy metal contamination in waterways. These activities can serve as a steppingstone for thinking about the needs and interests of your local community, and what kinds of data would be useful for answering important questions.

We are continuously bringing on new projects, learning about how communities want to or are currently using the platform, and refining the tools based on user feedback and project needs. We have been thrilled to collaborate with many new projects over the last year, including:

  • The TickTalk Project, recently featured in the Washington Post, in collaboration with Frostburg State University scientists and Maryland State Parks. This program crowd sources tick data to understand the prevalence of Lyme disease and life history patterns of ticks, and raises awareness in rural western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania about how the recent arrival of deer ticks in the region is connected to climate change.
  • Project CSI and #WeAreCoastal, using environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses and intertidal monitoring protocols in remote regions of Newfoundland and Nunavut, Canada, to ensure that communities, including after-school clubs and classroom groups, can monitor for invasive species and understand changes in local ecosystems over time.
  • Computer Science for Climate Action in collaboration with UC San Diego, the San Diego Science Project, and Stanislaus County Office of Education. This project provides schools with physical computing devices and mini weather stations to understand how urban greening can help to cool California communities experiencing more extreme heat waves with climate change, and how environmental and ecological data can inform greening projects.
  • River Otter Ecology Project, which monitors the expansion of the river otter range in northern California, and is now collaborating with Friends of the Verde River in Arizona and the Elizabeth River Project in Virginia to collect otter sightings and help track the health of local waterways.

As part of these projects, FieldScope co-designs workshops with project leaders, community members, and/or educators, that introduce users to the platform and engaging community members in exploring and telling stories with data.

We are excited to continue growing the FieldScope community. Please reach out to info@fieldscope.org if these tools could be of use in your project!

Congress wraps up FY2024 spending with mixed results for STEM education

by Della Cronin, principal of the Bose Public Affairs Group. The 118th Congress recently completed the fiscal year 2024 budget and appropriations process via the enactment of two packages of spending bills. The two massive measures each included six spending bills. The first invests $467.5...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/08/24

Million Girls Moonshot resources for April

Trainings for April  2024 ACRES Coaching: Asking Purposeful Questions Tuesdays: 4/16, 4/30, and 5/14/2024 11:00 am- 1:00 pm EST / 8:00 - 10:00 am PST Questions begin a path toward discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/04/24

Engaging in the process of science using the FieldScope community and citizen science platform

By Jessica R. Bean, Ph.D., UC Berkeley. Throughout my career as a scientist and educator, I have strived to provide opportunities for learners of all ages to engage in the process of science in ways that are relevant and connected to their lives. As the Director of Outreach and Science for the...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/01/24

An afterschool STEM advocacy story

Photo courtesy of California Academy of Sciences By Rachael Van Schoik, Science Action Club Manager, California Academy of Sciences. My advocacy story is Science Action Club’s (SAC) advocacy story. A program within the California Academy of Sciences, a world renowned museum and research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/15/24

Million Girls Moonshot resources for March

Trainings for March 2024 ACRES Coaching: Make Math Engaging Wednesdays: 3/20 and 4/3/2024, 2 - 4 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. PST Are you looking for fun ways to help youth build number sense and problem-solving skills? Math can take on new meaning when it is integrated into daily routines...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      03/07/24

Guest blog: Creating tomorrow’s engineers with Design Squad Latinx

By Nicki Sirianni, Education Outreach and Marketing Manager of GBH Education. Government, industry, research, and education leaders all agree that a strong engineering workforce is an essential part of the future economy in the U.S. and across the globe. Despite the need for more engineers,...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/04/24

Youth at the helm: Exploring sustainability through teen-led initiatives

By Lindsey DeLorey, Public Events and Youth Programs Coordinator at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has offered a teen program in various forms since the 1960s. Presently known as The Museum Apprentice Program (M.A.P.), it serves as a...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/23/24

Are you ready for the April 8 total solar eclipse?

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash. By Dennis Schatz, Institute for Learning Innovation and past president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Do you remember the excitement around the 2017 total solar eclipse? Well, it is going to happen again on Monday, April 8 of this...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/15/24

February resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Trainings for February 2024 Click2Engineering: Asking Purposeful Questions Coaching 2/1; 2/15; 3/7 from 12:00 - 2:00pm EST / 9:00 - 11:00am PST Click2Engineering is offering an ACRES (Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM) training on Asking Purposeful Questions in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/06/24

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

Million Girls Moonshot resources for April

Trainings for April  2024 ACRES Coaching: Asking Purposeful Questions Tuesdays: 4/16, 4/30, and 5/14/2024 11:00 am- 1:00 pm EST / 8:00 - 10:00 am PST Questions begin a path toward discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/04/24

Million Girls Moonshot resources for March

Trainings for March 2024 ACRES Coaching: Make Math Engaging Wednesdays: 3/20 and 4/3/2024, 2 - 4 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. PST Are you looking for fun ways to help youth build number sense and problem-solving skills? Math can take on new meaning when it is integrated into daily routines...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      03/07/24

February resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Trainings for February 2024 Click2Engineering: Asking Purposeful Questions Coaching 2/1; 2/15; 3/7 from 12:00 - 2:00pm EST / 9:00 - 11:00am PST Click2Engineering is offering an ACRES (Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM) training on Asking Purposeful Questions in...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/06/24

January resources from Million Girls Moonshot

January: National Mentoring Month Talk Technology with Verizon Employees  January 30th from 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET Give your students real-world applications of STEM with a LIVE talk with STEM professionals.  With your students, tune into this live webinar, to learn more about the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/29/24

December resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Special Opportunities On-going and time-sensitive opportunities to engage in STEM learning, media campaigns and professional development opportunities with stipends. Genomics Career Awareness Interest Last year, the Moonshot celebrated DNA Day and exposed hundreds of students to possible...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/07/23

It’s time for takeoff! Applications for the 2024 Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew open on International Day of the Girl

By Veronica Gonzales, STEM Next Opportunity Fund. The Million Girls Moonshot is looking for afterschool STEM champions to join the 2024 Flight Crew! The Moonshot has launched a nation-wide search for the Flight Crew - a group of youth advocates promoting the value of out-of-school STEM learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/11/23

September resources from Million Girls Moonshot

To help youth see themselves with a future in STEM and to broaden understanding of science history, it is important for students to learn about a diverse range of scientists and engineers. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/05/23

MAPSCorps@ Northwestern University: A new nexus for data STEM, civics, and project-based learning

Photo courtesy of Valentin J. Torres. By Nia Abdullah, EdD, executive director of The Equity in Opportunity Research Lab & MAPSCorps at Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/23

August resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Million Girls Moonshot curates monthly asset packages to suit the needs of afterschool and summer program providers across the U.S. All events, PD, trainings and resources can be found on the Moonshot Toolkit. Upcoming Events Register for upcoming events Find FREE professional development,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/03/23

July resources from Million Girls Moonshot

53 years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made history when they became the first human beings to set foot on the moon. The Million Girls Moonshot is aiming for the future, to soar beyond the moon, launching the next generation of engineers and scientists. What...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      07/07/23

Engaging in the process of science using the FieldScope community and citizen science platform

By Jessica R. Bean, Ph.D., UC Berkeley. Throughout my career as a scientist and educator, I have strived to provide opportunities for learners of all ages to engage in the process of science in ways that are relevant and connected to their lives. As the Director of Outreach and Science for the...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/01/24

Youth at the helm: Exploring sustainability through teen-led initiatives

By Lindsey DeLorey, Public Events and Youth Programs Coordinator at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has offered a teen program in various forms since the 1960s. Presently known as The Museum Apprentice Program (M.A.P.), it serves as a...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/23/24

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

Teen Science Cafés: Teens and STEM experts exploring our world together

Photo courtesy of Louisa Otto, Sanford PROMISE Teen Science Café. By Katey Ahmann, Director of Teen Science Café Network and Kristin Bayans, Manager of Network Engagement at Teen Science Café Network. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/25/24

Mapping (climate) justice: Empowering southwest Florida youth through summer STEM learning

Photo courtesy of trubel&co. By Laken Sylvander. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the  intersection of STEM...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/13/23

Why civic engagement & youth voice belongs in every afterschool program — including STEM programs!

By Robyn Lingo, Chief of Strategy & Impact, Mikva Challenge. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the intersection...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/06/23

Survey of STEM & community engagement initiatives in afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time programs

The Afterschool Alliance has launched a new initiative to explore how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in afterschool, summer, and other out-of-school-time (OST) settings such as science centers, museums, zoos, aquaria, universities, etc. can nurture young people’s...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      10/06/23

MAPSCorps@ Northwestern University: A new nexus for data STEM, civics, and project-based learning

Photo courtesy of Valentin J. Torres. By Nia Abdullah, EdD, executive director of The Equity in Opportunity Research Lab & MAPSCorps at Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/23

Building Capacity for Youth Climate Leadership and Action through Youth Climate Summits

Photo courtesy of The Wild Center. By Elodie Linck, The Jeanne Hutchins Youth Climate Coordinator at The Wild Center This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/11/23

Clemson University Science Outreach Center develops graphic novel to inspire youth-led STEM Justice initiatives

By Renée Lyons,  Director of Science Outreach for Clemson University’s College of Science This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/30/23

Congress wraps up FY2024 spending with mixed results for STEM education

by Della Cronin, principal of the Bose Public Affairs Group. The 118th Congress recently completed the fiscal year 2024 budget and appropriations process via the enactment of two packages of spending bills. The two massive measures each included six spending bills. The first invests $467.5...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/08/24

An afterschool STEM advocacy story

Photo courtesy of California Academy of Sciences By Rachael Van Schoik, Science Action Club Manager, California Academy of Sciences. My advocacy story is Science Action Club’s (SAC) advocacy story. A program within the California Academy of Sciences, a world renowned museum and research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/15/24

Guest blog: Creating tomorrow’s engineers with Design Squad Latinx

By Nicki Sirianni, Education Outreach and Marketing Manager of GBH Education. Government, industry, research, and education leaders all agree that a strong engineering workforce is an essential part of the future economy in the U.S. and across the globe. Despite the need for more engineers,...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/04/24

Are you ready for the April 8 total solar eclipse?

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash. By Dennis Schatz, Institute for Learning Innovation and past president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Do you remember the excitement around the 2017 total solar eclipse? Well, it is going to happen again on Monday, April 8 of this...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/15/24

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

Introducing the Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review

To start off 2024, the research working group of the Afterschool STEM Hub just released the inaugural edition of our Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review newsletter! This is a new publication from the Afterschool STEM Hub that aims to provide you with the latest and most relevant findings...

BY: Leslie Brooks      01/17/24

Wrapping up 2023 for the Afterschool STEM Hub

As 2023 comes to a close, the Afterschool STEM Hub is reflecting on the past year and looking to the year ahead. In working towards our vision of a STEM learning community where high-quality afterschool programs are respected, well-resourced, and accessible for all youth, in 2023, we created tools...

BY: Leslie Brooks      12/18/23

STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future advocate for investments in out-of-school time STEM

Photo from Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce. Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce, a recent report co-produced by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future,...

BY: Leslie Brooks      11/17/23

Afterschool STEM programs: Needed now more than ever

By Holly Miller, Ph.D., senior advisor, Afterschool and Summer Learning at STEM Next Opportunity Fund. We’ve all seen the reports—the pandemic had a significant and negative impact on students, not seen just in lost instructional time, but also in engagement, attendance, social...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/13/23

Empowering the next generation of STEM innovators: Join me in the National STEM Challenge!

By Kari Byron, former Mythbusters and EXPLR co-founder. Did you know that YOU, too, belong in STEM? As one of the first female science presenters on the Discovery Channel, I've seen firsthand the importance of representation in the STEM fields; and the power that out-of-school...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/20/23

An afterschool STEM advocacy story

Photo courtesy of California Academy of Sciences By Rachael Van Schoik, Science Action Club Manager, California Academy of Sciences. My advocacy story is Science Action Club’s (SAC) advocacy story. A program within the California Academy of Sciences, a world renowned museum and research...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/15/24

Guest blog: Creating tomorrow’s engineers with Design Squad Latinx

By Nicki Sirianni, Education Outreach and Marketing Manager of GBH Education. Government, industry, research, and education leaders all agree that a strong engineering workforce is an essential part of the future economy in the U.S. and across the globe. Despite the need for more engineers,...

BY: Guest Blogger      03/04/24

Youth at the helm: Exploring sustainability through teen-led initiatives

By Lindsey DeLorey, Public Events and Youth Programs Coordinator at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has offered a teen program in various forms since the 1960s. Presently known as The Museum Apprentice Program (M.A.P.), it serves as a...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/23/24

Are you ready for the April 8 total solar eclipse?

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash. By Dennis Schatz, Institute for Learning Innovation and past president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Do you remember the excitement around the 2017 total solar eclipse? Well, it is going to happen again on Monday, April 8 of this...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/15/24

Power up afterschool learning with the 4-H STEM Challenge

By Michael Compton, STEM Integrated Marketing Manager at National 4-H Council. The acronym STEM refers to the four disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. STEM is a popular content area to engage young people in exciting, engaging, hands-on learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/23

Clemson University Science Outreach Center develops graphic novel to inspire youth-led STEM Justice initiatives

By Renée Lyons,  Director of Science Outreach for Clemson University’s College of Science This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/30/23

Power up afterschool learning with the 4-H STEM Challenge

By Michael Compton, STEM Integrated Marketing Manager at National 4-H Council. The acronym STEM refers to the four disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. STEM is a popular content area to engage young people in exciting, engaging, hands-on learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/23

Building Capacity for Youth Climate Leadership and Action through Youth Climate Summits

Photo courtesy of The Wild Center. By Elodie Linck, The Jeanne Hutchins Youth Climate Coordinator at The Wild Center This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/11/23

September resources from Million Girls Moonshot

To help students see themselves with a future in STEM and to broaden understanding of science history, it is important for students to learn about a diverse range of scientists and engineers. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and engineers...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/20/22

August resources from Million Girls Moonshot

The school year has started for many across the country, and the August assets from Million Girls Moonshot focus on opportunities and resources for Networks and partners to build the capacity of program providers around the four transformative programming areas: 1) Equity and Inclusion, 2)...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/01/22

Foster STEM learning with the 4-H STEM Challenge

By Michael Compton, STEM Integrated Marketing Manager at National 4-H Council. STEM refers to the four disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. Research suggests that using STEM learning opportunities in after-school educational settings is important to address the...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/22