Landcare’s School Citizen Science Program was born from the idea of putting wildlife cameras in schools, to enable students to monitor their local patch.
This idea was generously funded by the JM Roberts Trust. From this initial concept, Landcare Tasmania developed the Program in to something much broader – a program that gave students meaningful opportunities to explore their local environment, through a range of hands on activities. Water bug monitoring, bird watching, nature journaling, habitat exploration, and wildlife monitoring with cameras, to name a few.
The Program was developed by Landcare Tasmania staff, with the help of a skills-based working group.
The main objective of this Program was to increase students connection with their local environment through enquiry-based learning, in selected member schools of Landcare Tasmania.
Throughout 2022, 20 workshops were held across 10 schools. As a part of this, 7 wildlife monitoring cameras were distributed to some of the participating schools.
The high levels of student engagement in the workshops as well as positive feedback received from staff and students are strong indicators that the program was successful in its delivery. Landcare Tasmania will continue the School Citizen Science Program, as well as other Education Programs, in to the future. These Programs are deemed to be viable as Landcare Tasmania has already received EOI’s from schools to be involved in subsequent years, as well as adequate funding.
“The kids were really engaged during this activity and were eager to find and discover things… The microscopes were an added bonus, and as well as assisting students to see details in different discoveries, it also made the activity feel more 'scientific' and exciting for them."
– Jenny Lloyd, Food and Fibre teacher at Mole Creek Primary.
Landcare staff, supported by select Landcare volunteers, ran 20 workshops across 10 schools. Workshops were usually one-two hours in duration, and ranged from 1 – 4 workshops per school. Delivery was to students in prep through to grade 10.
Each workshop was tailored to the school and their local environment, based on information from our consultation process with the schools and research in to their local natural values. Empowering practical on-ground stewardship is a core principal of Landcare Tasmania. As such, the workshop activities had a very strong hands-on focus. This approach was also strongly recommended by educators as a highly effective form of learning and engagement.
The main themes and skills that were focused on in the workshops were:
- Building observation skills
- Wildlife monitoring
- Asking generative questions
- Exploring what lives in the local environment
- Collecting base-line data on what is at the school/in the surrounds River health
To enhance the learning outcomes of workshops, Landcare Tasmania partnered with a number of different organisations and specialists for the delivery of some of the workshops. Our partners were the National Waterbug Blitz, 24 Carrot Gardens, and The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.
- East Derwent Primary
- Austins Ferry Primary
- Howrah Primary School
- Springfield Gardens Primary
- Andrews Creek Primary
- Mole Creek Primary
- Montrose Bay High
- Tasman District High
- Queechy High
- Exploring local patch
- Exploring habitat for wildlife
- River health and birdlife
- Bioblitz - school grounds
- Scats and tracks
- Wildlife habitat and monitoring
- Toy theatre
- Habitat quality assessment
Landcare Tasmania's Education Program now includes 30 member schools ranging from Early Learning to High School. Would your educational institution benefit from a Landcare program? Why not become a member?