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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
  Learning Through Citizen Science: Enhancing Opportunities by Design

Citizen Science CoverReleased in November 2018, from the Board on Science Education, this report says that citizen science is uniquely positioned to support participants' learning about science. The report identifies ways that citizen science projects can be designed to effectively support learning. Citizen science has blossomed as a way to engage a broad range of individuals in doing science. Citizen science projects focus on "nonscientists" participating in the processes of scientific research, with the goal of advancing and using scientific knowledge. These projects enlist individuals and communities in a wide range of science-related endeavors, from counting particular species in the environment to monitoring for contaminants in streams to categorizing the structure of galaxies. The report recommends that projects be designed with the audience in mind and in ways that are inclusive and that support diversity. The report also recommends areas for research in order to advance understanding and practice.

Sponsors: Moore Foundation, Simons Foundation and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) 

Read the Executive Summary  |  Read or d
ownload the report  |  Read the Report Highlights 

Read the Press Release  |  Watch the Webinar Release

Related Reports

Science LiteracyScience Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences (2016)
Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

Learning ScienceLearning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (2009)
This report examines how evidence based on research relevant to the development of DLLs/ELs from birth to age 21 can inform education and health policies and related practices that can result in better educational outcomes. This report makes recommendations for policy, practice, and research and data collection focused on addressing the challenges in caring for and educating DLLs/ELs from birth to grade 12.


Upcoming Events

Public Event (Agenda Forthcoming):
Report Launch and Video Release
Washington, DC - NAS Building
February 28, 2019
Register Here


Commissioned Papers 

Science Identity and Agency in Community and Citizen Science: Evidence & Potential -
Heidi l. Ballard, Emily M. Harris, Colin G. H. Dixon; University of California, Davis
Read now

Designing Citizen Science Projects
Christopher Hoadley; New York University, Steinhardt
Read now

Design-Based Research in Education
William A. Sandoval; University of California, Los Angeles
Read now



Committee Information

Committee Biographies

Rajul (Raj) Pandya (Chair), American Geophysical Union
Megan Bang, Northwestern University
Darlene Cavalier, Arizona State University
Daniel Edelson, BSCS Science Learning
Louis Gomez, University of California, Los Angeles 
Joe E. Heimlich, Center of Science and Industry
Lekelia "Kiki" Jenkins, Arizona State University
Bruce V. Lewenstein, Cornell University 
Christine Massey, University of California, Los Angeles 
John C. Mather, NASA
Julia Parrish, University of Washington; COASST
Tina Phillips, Cornell Lab of Ornithology 


Staff Information


Kenne Dibner, Study Director
Kerry Brenner, Program Officer
Leticia Garcilazo Green, Senior Program Assistant
Jessica Covington, Senior Program Assistant
Heidi Schweingruber, Director, BOSE




Mailing Address


Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001





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