Remix, Remake, Curate

Learning with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Tar River Writing Project, & The Poetry Project

Make Cycle 1: Citizen Science

Hi, everyone and welcome to Remix, Remake, Curate!  Over the next five weeks, join us as we explore the intersections of science and poetry in the world around us.  Each week, we’ll focus on a different topic and provide you with a set of activities that you can follow along with in your classroom, youth group, after school program, or on your own.  Over the week, you’ll explore a scientific concept and produce one or more products that represent what you learned that you can share with everyone else.  We’ll also host two scheduled events each week that you can be a part of, a Twitter chat session and a Google Hangout.  These scheduled events will get you started, help you participate in the projects, and communicate your results with the community.  Overall, we hope that you learn something new about science or the natural world, do something creative with your learning, and have a ton of fun as you do it!

kids on ladybug huntMake Cycle 1: Citizen Science

We’re starting things off with citizen science!  Citizen science is a partnership between the public and professional researchers to answer scientific questions or solve scientific problems.  In essence, citizen science is a way for anyone, regardless of your personal experience in science or your past experiences, to participate in scientific research!  There are thousands of citizen science projects available in the world, but we want you to focus on biodiversity (the variety of life on Earth) this week.  Simply create an account on iNaturalist.org, head outside, take pictures of the species that you encounter, and upload your images to iNaturalist.  By doing so, you will share the observations you make of your local biodiversity with scientists worldwide, other citizen scientists, and other participants in this project.  Once you make some observations of the species in your area outside, you’ll write some poetry based on what you saw and create a rhythm circle with your group to bring everyone together as a group!  You can share your observations, poetry, rhythm circle sessions, and anything else you create this week with everyone else through our Google+ community page.  We hope you’ll also consider joining our Twitter chat session on Tuesday, February 3 from 7:30-8:30pm and our Google Hangout on Friday, February 6 from 10:30-11:30am to interact with other participants.

Let’s learn more about the species that live around us together!  The tools and information below will help you get started.

Make With Me

We suggest the following activities to guide your exploration of the biodiversity of life in your area.

Field Walk and Documentation

  • Go outside – anywhere that you’d like to explore!  See how many living creatures you can find and take pictures of each species you see.
  • Back inside, submit some or all of your observations to iNaturalist – visit our project iNaturalist page or join the Remix, Remake, Curate project through the iNaturalist mobile app.  Suggested instructions for how to do your nature observations are available online if you want some help.

Poetry

  • Participants will create a quad box poem about a species that they found particularly interesting in their explorations. We have included a template for a great poetry format you can use to guide your students through the activity.  Share some or all of your poems on the Google+ community!  The following video explains how to think through turning your quad box into a poem:
  • Create a rhythm circle based on the things your entire group discovered and wrote.  If you have permission, consider filming your group’s rhythm circle and uploading it to Google+!

Materials and Inspiration

Places to Share

Just a reminder, here are the handy links to places we’ve been using to share and connect.

  • Join our Google+ Community, Remix, Remake, Curate. Post your thoughts, questions, ideas, and especially your students’ work here. Record student poetry, share their observations, and let them see what other kids are doing.
  • On Twitter, we encourage you to follow and use the #icitsci and #imakesci hashtags. Share resources throughout the week, and chat with us on Tuesday, February 3 from 7:30-8:30pm.
  • Join our Google Hangout on Friday, February 6 from 10:30-11:30am.  We’ll talk about everyone’s experiences over the week, so you can participate in the conversation or simply watch with your group.
  • If you have a blog, you can make and create in your own digital space and share to the community on Twitter with the #imakesci hashtag or the G+ community Remix, Remake, Curate.

For More Info

Finally

When the week is over — or whenever you and your young people decide you are finished with the citizen science make — we hope they are able to see themselves as scientists, as citizens contributing to a scientific understanding of the environment. Along the way, they will discover that life is everywhere hiding in the nooks of tree bark and digging its way through concrete surfaces. Taking time to observe and record the diversity of life in that environment is an important step to maintaining its integrity.

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Author: dragonflywoman

I am an aquatic entomologist who works at a museum as the manager of citizen science and the manager of research at the museum's field station. My personal blogging focuses on insects and insect photography or my dragonfly citizen science project. I also blog about the nature of North Carolina and citizen science for my museum's blog. All opinions are my own and do not represent my museum.

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