© Project MASH
Design and create an original news broadcast, commercial, public service announcement, or music video to promote citizen science.
To understand and articulate what citizen science is and why it is important.
- Pen or pencil
- Computer or tablet
- Internet access
- Storyboard templates
Consider what you know. Have you ever heard of citizen science? Turn and talk with your neighbor about what you think it might be. Be sure to explain your thinking.
Identify big ideas. Start by viewing the three short videos below. Watch them all the way through without stopping or taking any notes. In your team, identify 3-5 messages that you hear more than once.
Dig deeper. Now, watch each video again and answer the following questions. This time, you can stop and take notes as often as you like.
- What are citizen scientists? What do they do?
- How is citizen science valuable to everyday people?
- How is citizen science valuable to professional researchers?
- In what other ways is citizen science important?
Be a movie critic. What did you like about each of these videos? What was confusing or boring about them? If you were to create your own video about citizen science, what would do the same or differently? Keep track of these ideas in your notes.
Design your own citizen science video. Develop your own story to teach the public about citizen science. Decide on the most important things to say, then think about the best ways to communicate your messages clearly and effectively. Will you make a news broadcast, documentary, or commercial? What stylistic elements would be helpful to use, such as humor, drama, or adventure? Use this template to sketch your storyboard and draft a script. Be sure to use both drawings and text. If you have time, ask your peers to review and critique your work. Then revise and improve your outline.
Lights, camera, action! Gather your actors, costumes, and props and bring your message to life. You might ask classmates to perform, craft your own puppets, or create an illustrated animation. If possible, digitally record and edit your work. Share your finished product with classmates, family, and friends.
Science and Engineering Practices:
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
The above activity is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license type by Creative Commons which allows you to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially as long as you credit the California Academy of Sciences and license any new creations under the identical terms.
Check out our Citizen Science Toolkit, designed to help educators integrate citizen science projects into classroom curricula or afterschool programming.
It contains resources—including lessons, readings, and worksheets—to help communicate the value of citizen science to students and cultivate their sense of empowerment and impact when performing science investigations.