Using Community Science to Advance Earth Science Learning

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 13
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Sarah Wilkins, American Geophysical Union
This workshop is for anyone interested in leveraging their Earth science teaching to produce meaningful local impact. We will introduce the practice of community science, in which projects are designed in partnership with community leaders and use Earth science to advance community priorities – and explore how community science can serve curricular goals from students from middle-school through college. Using case-studies and organizational partnerships, participants will learn strategies for connecting with local community groups. Through role-playing, participants will have an opportunity to practice scoping community science projects. Finally, we will deconstruct past community science projects so we know what kinds of student learning these projects are most likely to advance and what kind of additional learning supports might be needed to maximize that learning.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to scope a community science project on their own that aligns with curriculum learning goals. Specifically, participants will:

  • Practice the necessary skills for launching a successful community science project, including the process of project scoping and active listening
  • Develop a strategy for reaching out to local community groups to launch community science projects

Pre-Assignment for Workshop:

  • If you've identified a local community group to work with, great! If not, please spend some time researching 3 community groups that are active in your community. Write down their vision, mission statement, and look for connections to geoscience.
  • Examine your curriculum – where could a community science partnership fit into your curriculum and learning goals?


1:30pm: Introduction by Thriving Earth Exchange

1:40pm: Putting Strategies into Practice – work through real-world scenarios to practice active listening and key principles for scoping a successful community science project

2:25pm: Earth Connections presentation on the development of pathways linking opportunities to learn about geoscience through community involvement

2:45 pm: Community Science Where You Live: Think, Pair, Share

3:00 pm: Introduction to Thriving Earth Exchange resources and How to build community relationships

3:10 pm: Personal Action Plan development

3:30pm: Personal Action Plan presentations (1-minute pitches at each table)

3:40pm: Question and Answer

3:50pm: Evaluation and Adjourn


Earth Connections: Community Pathways to Geoscience Careers:

Thriving Earth Exchange: Our Approach to Community Science:

Scientist-Community Partnerships: Building Successful Collaborations:

Learning Through Citizen Science, Chapter 5: Citizen Science as an Opportunity for Science Learning: