Informal Teaching – A Youth-Led Citizen Science Network for Community Environmental Assessment

Informal Teaching – A Youth-Led Citizen Science Network for Community Environmental Assessment

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Sami Murphy.

During this difficult time of school closures and social distancing, the Y-CITYSCI staff has worked diligently to produce and share lesson plans for middle-school-aged students. We hope to fill a void in education during this time as well as provide informative citizen science activities that can be integrated into a formal or informal learning environment.

These lesson plans focus on citizen science and are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, the science standards used by the Illinois State Board of Education. Over the last decade, citizen science has grown in popularity as the public has discovered that they can contribute to scientific research, and researchers have realized the benefit of empowering the public to participate in science and help collect large datasets. These data help scientists better understand the environment in which we live as well as the ways plants and animals move about and affect these environments.

There are currently three lesson plans posted on the Y-CITYSCI webpage and we will continue to post more as they are finalized. Each lesson is about one hour long, and a brief description of each lesson is also posted on the webpage.

Y-CITYSCI Lesson One: Introduction to the Nature of Science with a Science-a-thon to observed unique materials and tools.

Y-CITYSCI Lesson Two: Introduction to the Nature of Science continued with how science is a large part of our daily lives.

Y-CITYSCI Lesson Three: Introduction to Website and Instagram with how to demonstrate the proper use of social media.

Please contact us at with any questions you have about the lesson plans. To learn more about the Y-CITYSCI program on the STEM Center’s website and keep checking out our blog posts and Instagram account @ycitysci.