Project Launch: Citizen Science in Schools Program

21st June 2022 |

On Friday 10th June, Landcare Tasmania launched our Statewide Citizen Science in Schools Program with a day of workshops for over 100 students at Queechy High School.

Image: David Maynard from QVMAG found something... © Queechy High School

All of the grade 7 classes at Queechy High School participated in a series of workshops on a sunny Friday.

Students learnt to assess habitat quality, start a nature journal, and used some specialised technology in Citizen Science.  

As part of the workshops, students assessed the habitat quality of the bush behind the school.  They were looking at what food and shelter it provides for native animals, particularly mammals, birds, and insects. 

A lot of laughter and excitement followed the students as they explored the bushy slope. Feathers, scat, flowers and birds were spotted...

Image: This is NOT a lunchbox! © Queechy High School

Image: Flora specimen © Queechy High School

David Maynard and Kate Turner from Natural Sciences at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery led a part of the workshop exploring the woody debris for insects... squeals of horror and delight were a given! 

Image: What's hiding under there? © Queechy High School

We collated the student's results from the habitat quality assessment.  Positive aspects of the bush, as well as issues, were identified by each group and they discussed how they might improve the quality of habitat. 

Image: Attentive observers © Queechy High School

“There is actually a lack of data in many of these places, so collecting information on what lives there is a meaningful way for students to contribute to science, while learning skills along the way,” said manager of the program, Joy Pfleger.

Image: Landcare Tasmania's Joy Pfleger providing Citizen Science top tips. © Queechy High School

This event marks the beginning of a project we hope to see continue into the long term.  Citizen Science in schools is a hands-on way for kids to connect to nature and contribute meaningfully to science.

© Queechy High School

“The outdoors, hands-on nature of these workshops often sparks real enthusiasm in students. When they observe the rich plant and animal life that is around them, they get really excited about learning more and doing more to help it flourish,” said Ms. Pfleger.

These workshops are a great opportunity to encourage that enthusiasm, curiosity, and connection to the natural places around them.

Image: Handy field guides and magnifying glasses © Queechy High School

We were also delighted to have Brian Faulkner from the JM Roberts Charitable Trust, who are supporting this program, attend one of the workshops. Landcare Tasmania’s Board Chair Bill Harvey also came along. 

As part of our Citizen Science in Schools Program, workshops like this are scheduled in 12 schools state wide in 2022.  The next Citizen Science workshop will be held at Montrose Bay High School on 3rd August, with guest waterbug expert John Gooderham.

This program is funded by donations to the Tasmanian Landcare Fund which includes major funding support from the JM Roberts Charitable Trust.

 This project forms part of our Education Program & Community Outreach Program.