Location

Cascades

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

26-3-2010 4:00 PM

End Date

26-3-2010 4:30 PM

Description

The EscapE (Environmental stewardship and career awareness program for Education) Program created a partnership between urban high school “citizen scientists,” their teachers, and university professors in the collection, interpretation, and sharing of data at a national wildlife refuge. The goal of the program was to increase student interest in natural resource careers by providing opportunities to work with natural resource professionals to collect and analyze data needed by the refuge. University undergraduate forestry programs are at risk because of dwindling student enrollment numbers and limited student diversity. By allowing high school students to partner with natural resource professionals and university professors, high schoolers would know more about opportunities in the environmental sciences and have a point of contact for questions and advice. Students collected data on soils, tree rings, and vegetative species composition during visits to the refuge and entered this information on an interactive website where the scientists and other students could help interpret the data. To assess interest in science‐related careers and life skill development, students completed an online questionnaire immediately after their data collection experience and then four weeks later. Students also participated in an online chat with university professors following data collection at the refuge. During the online chat, professors helped students reflect on the data collection experience by engaging the students in a discussion about the data they reported on the website and how their findings could help refuge personnel make natural resource management decisions. Preliminary results of the online questionnaire indicated that the experience helped build students’ problem solving, team work, and communication skills. In addition, students indicated knowing more about career opportunities in the sciences and felt more comfortable interacting with natural resource professionals because of the EscapE Program.

Comments

Citation: Fuhrman, N., C. Copenheaver, J. Seiler, J. Peterson. 2010. Urban high schoolers as citizen scientists: a collaborative partnership with university natural resources educators. UENR Biennial Conference, Session Recruitment and Enrollment, Paper Number 5. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Recruitment/5/.

 
Mar 26th, 4:00 PM Mar 26th, 4:30 PM

Urban High Schoolers as Citizen Scientists: A Collaborative Partnership with University Natural Resource Educators

Cascades

The EscapE (Environmental stewardship and career awareness program for Education) Program created a partnership between urban high school “citizen scientists,” their teachers, and university professors in the collection, interpretation, and sharing of data at a national wildlife refuge. The goal of the program was to increase student interest in natural resource careers by providing opportunities to work with natural resource professionals to collect and analyze data needed by the refuge. University undergraduate forestry programs are at risk because of dwindling student enrollment numbers and limited student diversity. By allowing high school students to partner with natural resource professionals and university professors, high schoolers would know more about opportunities in the environmental sciences and have a point of contact for questions and advice. Students collected data on soils, tree rings, and vegetative species composition during visits to the refuge and entered this information on an interactive website where the scientists and other students could help interpret the data. To assess interest in science‐related careers and life skill development, students completed an online questionnaire immediately after their data collection experience and then four weeks later. Students also participated in an online chat with university professors following data collection at the refuge. During the online chat, professors helped students reflect on the data collection experience by engaging the students in a discussion about the data they reported on the website and how their findings could help refuge personnel make natural resource management decisions. Preliminary results of the online questionnaire indicated that the experience helped build students’ problem solving, team work, and communication skills. In addition, students indicated knowing more about career opportunities in the sciences and felt more comfortable interacting with natural resource professionals because of the EscapE Program.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Recruitment/5