Questions for ‘Kids make great citizen scientists’


Students measure plants as part of a citizen-science project that aims to restore habitat on the California coast.

Steve Zylius / University of California, Irvine

To accompany feature “Kids make great citizen scientists”


Before Reading

1.         What do you think it means to be a “citizen scientist”?

2.         Why might scientists want help from the public in gathering data?

During Reading

1.     Why are scientists in Wisconsin interested in black-legged ticks?

2.     Describe two ways that NASA satellites are limited compared to a human’s eyes.

3.     How can collecting data from a larger number of citizen scientists make results more accurate?

4.     What are two things the story points to as things that scientists can learn from studying clouds?

5.     How did students help Austrian scientists improve an energy questionnaire?

6.    What’s one way that doing citizen science changes students’ perspectives on science?     

7.    What kinds of data did student citizen scientists help gather in Crystal Cove, Calif.?

8.    Why are bad results in science experiments not necessarily failures?

9.    Name a few of the challenges for students studying ticks and doing other kinds of citizen science projects.

10.   What are some real scientific findings that citizen scientists have contributed?

After Reading:

1.     How can citizen science be good for both professional scientists and students?

2.     What types of scientific research would you be excited to help out with? What about you would make you a good citizen scientist?