Educator Resources for Citizen Science

In Citizen Science, students play a teen concerned about a local lake threatened by eutrophication, a condition in which a body of water becomes starved of oxygen. Set in Madison, WI, the game brings players back in time to the 1960s, where they must uncover and solve specific pollution problems faced by the lake. Returning to the present and finding that the lake continues to face eutrophication threats, players take corrective steps to solve more recent problems. Citizen Science serves several key pedagogical functions: First, through continual evidence-based argumentation, players master the art of crafting reasoned arguments as a way to persuade others using established facts. Second, through models and simulations of scientific data collection, players learn about the factors that influence lake health, including exotic species introduction; manure and fertilizer runoff; fishing regulation; and wetland restoration. Finally, players gain an understanding of how citizens can make positive changes to their communities. Note that while the full game may take up to 90 minutes to play, a number of teaching goals can be met in considerably less time.

Personification in Writing with the Citizen Science Game

In this lesson plan which can be adapted for students in grades 5-12, students use a free online science and English Language Arts (ELA) game to explore personification in writing.  See more »

Persuasive Arguments About Water Ecology Lesson Plan: Citizen Science Game

In this multi-day lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 5-12, students use BrainPOP resources to practice crafting reasoned arguments and explore the effect of humans on the environment. Through an online game, students will learn about the causes of water pollution in a lake and pose a question about the local water supply to community residents. Students then compile the residents' opinions during game play and compose a persuasive letter to their congressional representative asking for his or her support in improving water conditions. See more »