The GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) has spent the last 20 years making the case for K-12 students as citizen scientists. In fact, it has made the case millions of times – with more than 10 million students collecting more than 140 million data points around the world. Their measurements have ranged from soil moisture to surface temperature to cloud observations and have provided data for numerous academic publications about the global environment.
Rather than creating stand-alone experiments or kits for classrooms, GLOBE involves students through collaborative, global campaigns. These campaigns are proposed by scientists and have specific training materials to ensure that data collected by a fourth grader in Milwaukee can be added to the equivalent data taken by a tenth grader in Prague. Contributing to global datasets not only gives students a chance to collect data that scientists can actually use, but allows them to compare their experiences and findings with other students around the world.
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