Q – What is Citizen Science Day?
A – An opportunity to celebrate citizen science and connect with others who love it. What could be better?! Museums, libraries, zoos, schools, parks, and other site-based organizations (perhaps yours?) will be hosting events in early/mid- 2016. Search – or add your event to – SciStarter’s online calendar and map.
Q – When is Citizen Science Day?
A – Events in celebration of Citizen Science Day will be held throughout the April and May of 2016. Celebrations will kick off on April 16th, with some high-profile activities at the National Science & Engineering Festival that will help promote upcoming events. Major activities will also take place in conjunction with the National Bioblitz, May 20-21st. But there is too much citizen science to fit in a single day! Feel free to schedule your celebrations on a day (or days) best suited for your site.
Q – For Citizen Science Day, should we plan to DO citizen science?
A – Citizen Science Day is about celebrating citizen science, and does not have to involve doing citizen science. Doing citizen science could even be counterproductive – for some projects, scaling back protocols to offer a single, short-term research experience might serve to diminish respect for the process and the results. But if you have a project that fits well – for the day, the season, and in an event format – go for it.
Q – If we don’t do citizen science, what else is there to do?
A – There are endless creative ways to celebrate citizen science (and we would love to hear YOUR ideas in the comment section). We are partial to events that enable a local or regional dialog among people doing citizen science – consider booths where people (participants, scientists, and others) can share their different citizen science work, with some open time for networking. A series of Science Cafés focused on citizen science could also do the trick. Some might even set up an evening of TED-style talks or inspired storytelling about citizen science experiences.
Not up for hosting an event? Consider more low-key celebrations. Set up a screen and stream Citizen SciGirls episodes or the promo video for The Crowd and the Cloud. Prominently display SciStarter on a kiosk and encourage visitors to look for projects of interest. Collect brochures from as many projects as you can find and display (make sure web/email addresses are visible for anyone interested in taking part!).
Q – Ok, I’m on board! How do I spread the word about my Citizen Science Day activities?
A – To start, add your event or activities to the SciStarter events calendar (link in bottom right of that page). In early 2016 the Citizen Science Association will also be providing materials and guidelines to promote your activities as official Citizen Science Day celebrations. We are also looking for great sites to highlight as “flagship” events – think you’ve got one? Get in touch!
Q – Can my organization sponsor or otherwise support Citizen Science Day?
A – If you’re asking this question, we would love to talk! You’d be in good company – the Citizen Science Association is pleased to be working with the following esteemed (and growing!) list of partnering organizations and businesses to share Citizen Science Day with as many people as possible. Contact us to add your support.
Federal Community of Practice for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)
Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
The Crowd and the Cloud