Lesson Plan

Introduction to Citizen Science

A child wearing safety goggles and a green rubber glove holds up a thermometer dangling from a string.
Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
6-8.RST.1, 6-8.RST.2, 6-8.RST.4, 6-8.RST.5, 6-8.RST.6, 6-8.RST.7, 6-8.RST.9, 9-10.RST.1, 9-10.RST.2, 9-10.RST.4, 9-10.RST.5, 9-10.RST.6, 9-10.RST.7, 9-10.RST.9, 11-12.RST.1, 11-12.RST.2, 11-12.RST.4, 11-12.RST.5, 11-12.RST.6, 11-12.RST.7, 11-12.RST.9
State Standards:
Ohio Learning Standards (middle and high school): RL.6.1, RL.6.4, RL.7.1, RL.7.4, RL.8.1, RL.8.4, RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.4, RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.4, ENV.ER.3, ENV.GP.2
Additional Standards:
Next Generation Science Standard: MS-ESS3-3

Essential Question

What is Citizen Science?
How is Citizen Science valuable to the scientific community?


Students will:
- Understand the importance of everyday people contributing to science.
- Be able to discuss different Citizen Science projects occurring globally.


Instructor should review the readings and all online content. It is especially important to review SciStarter if it is new to the instructor, looking over the projects and how they are organized. Instructors should also ensure that all documents can be used on the local network and students are able to access documents. Total preparation time: about 40 minutes.


  • Opening questions (5 minutes)
  • SciStarter exploration (15 minutes)
  • Presentation preparation (20 minutes)
  • Presentation (N/A minutes)
  • Additional reading and handout: Why Citizen Science for water quality? (25 minutes)

Additional Resources

For more information about citizen science in the national parks, visit the National Park Service Citizen Science subject site.

Contact Information

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Last updated: September 24, 2020