In this session, we discuss how we integrated citizen science into Smithsonian Science for Global Goals (SSfGG)--a series of free online Community Research Guides for youth ages 8-17, which contain carefully sequenced transdisciplinary science lessons interwoven with education for sustainable development. Through the development of a series of modules (e.g., Mosquito!, Food!, COVID-19!, Biodiversity!, Sustainable Communities!) the Smithsonian Science Education Center began to use the SDGs as a framework for engaging youth in discovering, understanding, and acting on the science of global issues faced by their communities. However, one of the challenges with abstract global goals is how to apply them concretely in local settings. This session discusses how we integrated citizen science into the SSfGG program, designed to incorporate place-specific data and community perspectives to ensure local relevance to bring about transformational impact. We argue that it is not enough to teach students that the SDGs exist. Instead we are seeking new ways for learners ages 8-17 around the world to embody the SDGs in their communities every day. In other words, the goal of the SSfGG project is to not only teach students the science behind these socio-scientific issues, but to drive students’ capabilities to act to use this science to do social good in their communities and the world. But, to drive students to act, we need to assess their propensity for changing their own behaviors, or micro-actions. This session discusses how the Smithsonian is working with Aarhus University to embed “extreme citizen science” into SSfGG through digital citizen science tools and games based on behavioral economics developed by Dr. Jacob Sherson and his team at ScienceAtHome. We also discuss how we are using their Citizen Science Notebook as a tool for students to move up the “ladders of participation” in citizen science from “traditional citizen science” to “extreme citizen science,” which “takes into account local needs, practices, and culture and works with broad networks of people to design and build new devices and knowledge creation processes that can transform the world” (University College London, 2019).
For additional information, please contact Kate Echevarria at EchevarriaK@si.edu.