Understanding Biodiversity through Collaborative Research
Primary Science Volume 113, ISSN 0269-2465
Science is exciting because it is so accessible to the enthusiastic beginner. However, there is still a separation between professional scientists and novices, even in relatively open fields such as natural history. To help overcome this, the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network is supporting projects that bring scientists, amateur experts and complete novices together. One such project is "iSpot", a biodiversity website that uses photography as a basis for learning more about the diversity of life. Allowing children to use cameras to record and observe nature can generate high levels of engagement, and websites such as "iSpot" enable those photographs to be shared with a much wider audience and for a real purpose. This article describes how the author used this website in school and involved her pupils in online research demonstrating the real-world value of science. (Contains 5 figures.)
Forrer, C. (2010). Understanding Biodiversity through Collaborative Research. Primary Science, 113, 10-12.