Exploring the Use of Citizen Science and Technology to Connect Preschool Classrooms at Two University-Based Programs
Keywords:citizen science, collaboration, COVID-19, nature education, outdoor education, social learning, technology in early childhood
The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant restrictions limited the ability of teachers to collaborate on activities for children attending center-based care. In response to such constraints and to encourage outdoor learning, researchers and teachers at two university-based early childhood programs partnered to simultaneously implement a citizen science project in two preschool classrooms. Teachers and children engaged in Project FeederWatch counts and other bird-related activities influenced by children’s interests. The two classrooms participated in virtual meetings to share their birding “research” and observation data. Children were engaged in the birding project for longer than expected and many included their families in birding activities at home.