GLOBE Side Navigation

Recent Article Highlights Fun Science-at-Home Opportunities Using the GLOBE Observer App

A recent article, “Engaging Families with GLOBE Observer,” written by Theresa Schwerin, Heather A. Fischer, and Heather Mortimer, highlights the “educational” and “fun” contributions of citizen scientists from around the world using the GLOBE Observer app.

“As part of the international GLOBE Program, GLOBE Observer focuses efforts on out-of-school audiences with the objective of engaging new citizen scientists worldwide,” the authors state in the article, published in Connected Science Learning October-December 2020/National Science Teaching Association (Volume 2, Issue 4).

“Using the free mobile app, volunteers in GLOBE countries contribute to monitoring clouds, water (especially as a habitat for mosquitoes), plants (trees and other land cover), and help identify change over time. These data can be used to help interpret and augment NASA satellite data and are openly available to view and explore. As more families look for science-at-home opportunities, GLOBE Observer provides experiences that are unique, educational, and fun.”

“To engage families and support their participation, the GLOBE Observer team developed a collection: Our Favorite GLOBE Observer Activities for Families. These include hands-on activities corresponding to GLOBE Observer tools for observing clouds, mosquito habitats, land cover, and trees.”

These activities include:

  • Create a Cloud in a Jar (to explore how clouds form);
  • Build a Mosquito Larvae Trap (to monitor mosquitoes in your community);
  • Make a Map; and
  • Build a Paper Clinometer (to calculate the height of trees).

 “During summer 2020, 14 families field-tested the activities and responded to questions related to availability of the materials at home, enjoyability, questions that were sparked, if the activity worked as expected, if there were any difficulties, modifications or substitutions that were needed, usefulness of the supplemental resources, and suggestions for improvement,” the authors stated. “Feedback from library partners that offer STEM programs for families reinforced the overall approach and informed recommendations for refining and strengthening this collection.”

The article also offers “strategies for successful GLOBE Observer Family Engagement,” including the goal of starting with simple, fun activities; providing support for parents and caregivers; and providing multiple, and connected, opportunities and resources for engagement.

To read the entire article, click here.

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office