Community Science Integration for Undegraduates
The demonstration at the Rendezvous will include an example/testimonial from a Community Science Fellow who has built and executed a community science project built on a foundation from the exercises included in this learning module. Participants will have time to cycle through a series of exercises that will allow them to walk away with a starting point for their own community science project (as well as a mechanism to begin to integrate a community science component into their undergraduate or graduate courses).
This activity will integrate the Thriving Earth Exchange approach to community science into an introductory level undergraduate Earth science class. Community science is defined as an approach to doing science by which communities and scientists partner to advance local priorities. The skill set demonstrated through this learning module will help to build capacity in community engagement for undergraduate students working in or adjacent to the Earth sciences.
Through a series of exercises that include skill-building through active listening, a simulation of a four-phase approach to community science, and development of a project scope, undergraduate students will build a foundation to help them successfully integrate community engagement into their lab work or research. The demonstration will also highlight examples of how Thriving Earth Exchange community science Fellows have incorporated community science into undergraduate and graduate courses that they teach.
This activity is used as a learning tool for Thriving Earth Exchange community science Fellows. Fellows serve as leaders in the community science movement by leading and fostering a community-science partnership and managing a community science project through its entire lifetime which could range from 6 to 18 months. Fellows vary in background, career stage, and discipline, and we are continuing to develop best practices for implementing these educational activities. As part of this demonstration we would also like to initiate conversation around feedback and areas for growth and improvement as we try to align our practice with the best strategies for student learning.
Why It Works
This activity is worthwhile because it provides a structured mechanism for designing a project that involves science, but that starts with research driven by community voice. Helping to build a skill set for students early in their academic careers that focus on community voice first is essential as the intersection of science and society becomes ever more present.