Learning and Environmental Science Agency Research Network for Citizen Science
This project investigates the best ways to engage young people with citizen science learning through a collaboration with National History Museums in the UK and US
LEARN CitSci is a four-year international collaborative research project that aims to understand how young people develop environmental science knowledge through their participation in Citizen Science programs at Natural History Museums (NHMs).
The research project employs observations, surveys, interviews, and learning analytics to explore various aspects around youth learning. This research investigates the learning environments and activities that NHM-led citizen science programmes facilitate, how young people develop from these learning experiences, and which activities and settings are successful in fostering science learning outcomes with young people.
The broader impact of this study involves providing research-based recommendations to NHM practitioners and researchers that will help make citizen science projects and learning science more accessible and productive for young people. These recommendations can contribute to strengthening youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programmes, including community research, activities and knowledge from informal STEM experiences.
The project is led by researchers of IET and The Open University, working alongside Principle Investigators from the US and the UK including Citizen Science practitioners at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Natural History Museum in London, and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, as well as educational researchers from the University of California Davis and the University of Oxford.
LEARN CitSci is funded through the Science Learning+ initiative, a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and charitable foundation Wellcome with the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC).
The role of IET
This project investigates the best ways to engage young people with citizen science learning through a collaboration with National History Museums in the UK and US.
Dr Christothea Herodotou, Senior Lecturer of IET and The Open University is co-PI on the project, leading the online evaluation of learning in citizen science programmes.
- ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
- National Science Foundation
- Wellcome Trust
- California Academy of Sciences
- Natural History Museum Los Angeles
- Natural History Museum UK
- University of California
- University of Oxford