This year’s British Science Week runs from 10th – 19th March and once again, will be looking at citizen science activities as The British Science Association looks to get more people, particularly schools, engaged with the varied and exciting world of science. The gender disparity in the field is fairly well publicised, but for some years now the subject area has been increasingly less popular in uptake. Citizen science directly addresses this; with interactive and creative experiments that invite people to contribute to meaningful and active research that has a real, measurable impact.
Get involved online
This year, the citizen science theme is penguins. Penguin Watch from Zooniverse has partnered with British Science Week and will see the public helping to collect qualitative data from photographs of penguins from the past three years, with the aim of furthering understanding of the animals in their natural habitat and forming better data on the full impact of climate change. Penguin Lifelines is the organisation behind Penguin Watch, and you can read more about its work here.
Get involved at school
BSW’s website has a whole host of resources for early years, primary, and secondary schools. Activities are centred around the theme ‘change’, which is connected to the citizen science theme in that climate change is the driver behind a large number of modern scientific studies and research endeavours. The theme is, as ever, up for interpretation and some of the ways it can be approached (in addition to climate change) include changing seasons, colour changes, changing the states of matter, and changing energy sources. Activity packs can be downloaded from the BSW’s website.
Science is an essential part of the UK’s national curriculum throughout primary and secondary school and we have a range of pages that communicate essential aspects of the subject. As with all of our content, this can be adapted and edited depending on your own school’s needs and ways of delivering information; whether it’s as a classroom reference or a tool to support students with homework. You can see these pages by accessing our library here, and filtering pages by subject.
With British Science Week just a couple of days away, we can’t wait to see what UK schools will be doing to take part and plan to be watching our social media closely!