BSCS Report: Designing Citizen Science for Both Science and Education

This is a logo for BSCS.Created in 1958 as the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) within the National Science Foundation, BSCS Science Learning is now an independent 501(c)(3) with over 60 years of research and educational training, focusing on science learning. Their mission is to transform science education “so that all students have an opportunity to learn science for their lives and careers.” 

As a curriculum study, BSCS leverages research to improve the development of science education materials. Recently, one of their reports examined citizen science! 

In January of 2017, BSCS hosted a workshop with citizen science folks of all stripes – scientists, educators, technologists – to create guidelines for designing citizen science projects and platforms that promote both scientific and educational outcomes.

In their press release, they tout the scientific rigor of citizen science; a project does not have to “choose between scientific and educational goals.” BSCS hopes that practitioners of citizen science will implement the design guidelines suggested in the report inside and outside of the classroom, educating others while also doing real science.

Does reading this report get you fired up to participate in citizen science? Then we suggest you find a project on SciStarter’s Project Finder! 

Categories: Citizen Science News, Education


About the Author

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson

In addition to being the Managing Editor of SciStarter's Syndicated Blog Network, Caroline Nickerson is a Master of Public Policy student at American University with a focus on environmental and climate change policy. She is passionate about science communication in the policy space and engaging citizens and voters. Caroline currently serves as secretary on the national board of the Commission on Local Debates (, an emerging nonprofit seeking to leverage technology to make debates for local elections better and more accessible. She also works as a textbook and curriculum development consultant for the University of Florida Psychiatry Department. In her role there, she is a project manager for the Christensen Project, which honors and furthers Dr. Richard C. Christensen's legacy of advocating for homeless and under-served individuals.