In this lesson, students become citizen scientists and discover how communities can be engaged in important scientific work. Students investigate Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch program and app, and assess the benefits these programs may bring to both the community and biodiversity. Students then head outside to use the ClimateWatch app, familiarising themselves with the actions required to identify species from the app in their schoolyard.
- engage with citizen science to investigate phenology and climate change
- discuss connections between phenology and climate change
- identify connections between citizen science and scientific knowledge in complementary fields
- use the ClimateWatch app to collect data
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Year 7 Science:
- Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
Year 8 Science:
- Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE226)
Syllabus outcomes: SC4-17CW.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.2.
Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines has been used to solve a real-world problem.
Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems.
Unit of work: ClimateWatch: Citizen Science – Science – Years 7 & 8.
Time needed: 60 minutes.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee indoor and outdoor activities and lead students in discussion.
- Hats, sunscreen
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting a website to the class
- Tablets with ClimateWatch app installed
- To run this lesson without the use of devices, a range of species guides can be downloaded from the ClimateWatch Species webpage and the Species Recording list (adapted from the Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens ClimateWatch Trail resource). Print one Species Recording List per student and a range of plant and animal species likely to be in your area for use in groups of 3-4 students.
If you would like to further your professional development in the fields covered by this lesson, Earthwatch recommends the following online articles
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
- Critical thinking
- Digital literacy