This teacher* resource includes a step-by-step guide to conducting citizen science research with students on school grounds, citizen science projects, and additional information to help you get started. It is free for educational use. The guide is focused on grades 6-12, but can be adapted for younger students. Find pollinators, measure tree canopy, map habitat, and more!
The School Watch Guide opens as a pdf document in a new window.
Take a quick tour through the School Watch Guide with an intro presentation.
School Watch professional development teacher workshops are in-person opportunities to learn about the activities and citizen science projects featured in the School Watch Guide.
At teacher* workshops, we provide:
School Watch student sessions are co-facilitated by EcoSpark staff and teachers following the teacher workshop. They provide K-12 students with an outdoor environmental education experience right on their school grounds.
Students become citizen scientists by making observations of nearby nature. They use EcoSpark's scientific equipment including a class set of professional binoculars, identification guides, and more to collect vital data from gardens, field, and woodlots around your school. Online databases put their research into context. For example, students might observe migrating birds outside, then chart their flights across the continent using online mapping tools.
We provide experienced staff, teacher training resources, and student materials to offer meaningful activities for budding environmental stewards.
The School Watch Calendar shows which citizen science projects are best for each season of the year. Check out the School Watch Guide to learn more.
The School Watch Webinar (recorded live May 22nd, 2018) introduces engaging citizen science projects that students can do outside on school grounds.
*While designed for teachers, the School Watch Guide, webinar and workshops (space permitting) are suitable for anyone interested in connecting kids with outdoor education.
This project would not be possible without the generous financial support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, The Chawkers Foundation, The McLean Foundation, and in-kind support from the York Region District School Board and Toronto District School Board Sustainability Office/EcoSchools.