Finding safe, engaging collaborative projects for your classroom doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many mentored and data-entry activities that allow your students to participate with classrooms across the country and around the world. Many of the Internet projects have been around for years with proven track records. Others have the backing of nonprofit foundations. Browse through these sites to find a project that is just right for your classroom.
Introduce your students to inquiry through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Citizen Science program. Most Wanted Birds is the first of a series of modules being developed with major backing from the National Science Foundation. By using this curriculum, kids learn how to identify birds, keep investigative journals, and submit data. Information from the database is then used for further exploration. Resources that support these lessons include a Teacher’s Guide, Reference Guide, Investigator’s Journal, and resource kit materials, including the Focus Bird Cards and Bird ID CD-ROM. To participate in the program you will need to order the curriculum kit for $69.95 plus $5.00 shipping, which entitles you to free online access to module two, Investigating Evidence.
The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
Founded in 1988, CIESE became part of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in 2004. Its interdisciplinary projects focus on collaboration and real-time data from the Internet. Down the Drain, Bucket Buddies, and Human Genetics are representative of collaborative projects conducted during the spring and fall each year. Examples of ongoing projects that use real-time data are Musical Plates, Weather Scope, and Navigational Vectors. Each project is linked to the National Science Standards and NCTM math standards. Rounding out the site are more projects on primary sources and links to partner projects.
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