In NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students, building community connections was recognized as an effective strategy for science education.
Strategies that involve the community underscore the importance of connecting the school science curriculum to the students' lives and the community in which they live. It is through these connections that students who have traditionally been alienated from science recognize science as relevant to their lives and future, deepen their understanding of science concepts, develop agency in science, and consider careers in science.
Citizen Science and Tuva
Tuva enables students to make connections between the science classroom and their communities. Citizen science projects are one example of "place-based" science education. These projects provide opportunities for students to ask questions or define problems, then construct explanations or design solutions for a wide range of local issues, phenomena, and processes.
Tuva has partnered with citizen science projects in several states to support the collection, analysis, visualization, and interpretation of data.
- The All About Arsenic Project involved secondary students in Maine and New Hampshire monitoring arsenic levels in wells. Arsenic levels in water higher than the EPA limit of 10 ppb is an issue in both states. A local problem such as this provides relevant and urgent motivation for students to enact the NGSS practices and acquire data literacy skills. https://vimeo.com/332274435
- WeatherBlur is a community-based non-hierarchical citizen science platform that allows communities to develop their own research programs, called investigations, to help them solve a local problem that is related to weather and/or climate-changing events.
1. NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
2. A. Farrell, K. Buckman, S.R. Hall, I. Muñoz, K. Bieluch, B. Zoellick, J. Disney. "Adaptations to a Secondary School-Based Citizen Science Project to Engage Students in Monitoring Well Water for Arsenic during the COVID-19 Pandemic." Journal of STEM Outreach 4(2) (2021).