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Jessica Costa's discussion posts

  • Jessica Costa 15 Oct 2014 4:27pm () in Connecting Kids and Communities to Science

    “Can kids be scientists?”


    In a TED talk, neuroscientist Beau Lotto asks this and found that “scientists said small children couldn’t make useful contributions to science. And teachers said kids couldn’t do it.”


    But we have numerous examples of students’ inherent curiosity and capability in science and technology. From cancer research, to slime mould studies, to newly patented inventions and student involvement in the Maker Movement, and beyond, we have a variety of successful examples to draw on.


    What is different about the opportunities these students had, and how can we (or should we?) make them available to our students? What are the possible roles for Science Learning & Change Networks in answering this question?


    As Amy, one of the students from the Blackawtown Bees study, says: “Science isn’t just a boring subject… anyone can discover something new: you just need the opportunity.”

  • Jessica Costa 09 Oct 2014 3:22pm () in Connecting Kids and Communities to Science

    “Citizen Science”


    There's an amazing variety of citizen science projects where anyone of any age or ability can contribute to scientific data collection, usually with a digital device. The studies are often part of real-world scientific research, so subjects range from NZ animal species to astrophysics! Maybe you took part in the recent Kereru count of birds in your local neighbourhood using their app or website. Or maybe you contributed to a global project, like solving molecular puzzles for Fold It, or classifying images from the Hubble Space Telescope in Galaxy Zoo. Many of these projects have developed complementary resources and tools to help support teachers and students, and make it easier to integrate contributing to a citizen science project into learning plans.


    Have you considered contributing to a citizen science project from the classroom? What is your favourite citizen science project that you’ve come across? Have your students talked to you or their peers about #CitizenSci?

  • Jessica Costa 08 Oct 2014 4:19pm () in Connecting Kids and Communities to Science

    “Short-duration science outreach”


    One method of community connection between schools and science is bringing scientists into classrooms to supplement or temporarily replace teachers. There are examples of these initiatives that are:


    -       government-led, like “Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools” from Australia’s Department of Education;

    -       scientist-led, like Harvard & MIT’s “There’s a Scientist in my classroom!”;

    -       led by teachers requesting specialists for specific curriculum, as for National Lab Day.


    We could compare and contrast these existing programmes here in this forum, and perhaps look at peer-reviewed research that assesses these types of interactions. Or have you found examples you’d like to discuss?


    Is this a worthwhile endeavour for Science LCNs, or do we need to develop our own programme in NZ? Thoughts?

  • Jessica Costa 08 Sep 2014 4:05pm () in Connecting Kids and Communities to Science

    Hello & welcome to the CENZ14 Science Learning and Change Networks discussion!


    This discussion invites you to reflect on the ways, people and places that children choose to involve in learning science. This will be important for schools trying to set up learning & change networks to improve science education. This forum is part of the Connected Educator Month calendar of events, so we hope to have regional, community and international perspectives, as well as a longer format than the discussions on Twitter currently allow for.


    Some resources to refer to during this conversation:






    Our key questions to be discussed in this thread:

    • Do the ways our students choose to learn science match our expectations? How can we determine who are priority learners for science?
    • How can our science teaching more strongly root the children's learning into investigations that link to our communities AND ignite their passions?
    • How can teachers and administrators facilitate engagement between children and the scientific community?


    We'll have this thread open throughout #CENZ14 so be sure to check back often and contribute as much as you like. Remember to tweet about your posts using #SciLCNNZ!