The HORIZON 2020 project, entitled “” CS-Track“, will be conducted under the leadership and coordination of MOFET, and with the co-participation of a multi-disciplinary team from eight institutions from six European countries (universities, research institutes and companies from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece and Spain).
This 36-month long project, which is scheduled to begin in December 2019, aims at expanding the knowledge on Citizen Science (CS) activities and their actual and potential impact on education and science at the level of individuals, organizations and society.
This fascinating project aims at developing and applying various innovative instruments in the study, monitoring and support of CS (Citizen Science) activities. In a first-order “observational” approach, we rely on web-based analytics (as an application of data mining and Social Network Analysis techniques) to study and characterize CS activities based on their manifestations and traces on the web and in social media. Secondly, these first-order analyses will be deepened and combined with empirical-interpretative approaches known from social studies via a triangulation approach. Data mining and content analysis methods will be used to better understand and compare the results and the discourse of the free, citizen-driven initiatives in relation to the results and discourse of “official” science.
The issue of CS in education is situated well within modern approaches of science education that take science learning out of the schools’ doors to raise its relevance for students’ daily lives. Taking science learning out of the lab has proven to raise students’ motivation to learn science, to become scientists and to have scientific careers. This trend of engaging citizens and students in “doing science” and contributing to scientific work has boosted numerous internet and face to face activities (e.g., FabLabs, data collections for different local and global surveys) where everybody can participate and learn science. In the CS-Track project we plan to learn about the different CS activities that already exist as well as to conceptualize what is a good activity to adopt, modify and to be learnt in teachers’ colleges for improving science teaching in training teachers and in schools.