University of Minnesota Extension, Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education has a mission of promoting youth to engage in the full process of authentic scientific research. The UMN Extension team created curriculum in four areas and trains teachers to introduce citizen science in their classsroom, with the goals of helping springboard learners into scientific investigations of their own.
As part of the phenology citizen science module, (the study of seasonal timing of biological activity of plants and animals,) our assignment was to create a short video for middle school and high school students and teachers that does the following:
In creating this video, the data the scientists are collecting in the field are the same data the students are collecting, supporting the idea that we’re all scientists. As a producer, it was important for me to show that citizen science is approachable and that you learn as you go. Dr. Rebecca Montgomery shared that the plants teach you what you need to know as they go through their seasonal changes. Our job as a citizen scientist phenologist is to show up, look closely, take notes following the protocol of Nature's Notebook/USA National Phenology Network and share our findings with the world.
What I’m most proud of with this video is how we captured the action of students learning. Since the public doesn’t normally have access to classroom activity, we felt privileged to tag along with the students as they conducted their research. Earth Science and Astronomy Teacher Kate Rosok is very skilled at guiding her students, encouraging them (and all of us) to take a closer look.
Producer Audrey Robinson Favorito explores the craft of digital storytelling