Quick summary: In this lesson, students become citizen scientists and discover how communities can be engaged in important scientific work. Students investigate Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch program and app, and assess the benefits these programs may bring to both the community and biodiversity. Students then head outside to use the ClimateWatch app, familiarising themselves with the actions required to identify species from the app in their schoolyard.
This lesson has been developed in partnership with Earthwatch. Earthwatch developed the ClimateWatch program with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals.
- Students engage with citizen science to investigate phenology and climate change.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Science
- Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
Year 8 Science
- Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE226)
Syllabus outcomes: SC4-17CW.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.2.
Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines has been used to solve a real-world problem.
Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems.
Topic: Biodiversity, Climate Change.
Unit of work: ClimateWatch: Citizen Science – Science – Years 7 & 8.
Time needed: 60 minutes.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee indoor and outdoor activities and lead students in discussion.
Resources required: Hats, sunscreen. Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Tablets with ClimateWatch app installed.
To run this lesson without the use of devices, a range of species guides can be downloaded from the ClimateWatch Species webpage and the Species Recording list (adapted from the Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens ClimateWatch Trail resource). Print one Species Recording List per student and a range of plant and animal species likely to be in your area for use in groups of 3-4 students.
If you would like to further your professional development in the fields covered by this lesson, Earthwatch recommends the following online articles
- The rise of citizen science is great news for our native wildlife
- Citizen science can produce reliable data
Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, citizen science, biodiversity, climate change, environment, citizen science, app.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.