Extension programs are well-suited to provide youth and adults with exposure
to science. However, designing programs to fully engage participants in
deeper experience with science practice is a complicated challenge. Grounded
theory is one research approach that Extension staff can use to explicate these
program models. The Driven to Discover: Enabling Student Inquiry through
Citizen Science project (D2D), funded by the National Science Foundation,
demonstrates potential for using grounded theory to identify factors that
provoke authentic inquiry by youth-adult research teams using citizen science
experiences. Through a deductive coding approach, researchers are analyzing
data from project participants to build understanding of elements that worked well and challenged the citizen science research teams. Preliminary analysis
has identified 14 themes that describe important design elements across
categories of the setting and situation for the program, program design and
structure, and team characteristics. Relationships among these themes also
highlight interconnections among setting, program, and participants.
Meyer, Nathan; Nippolt, Pamela; Strauss, Andrea; Oberhauser, Karen; Blair, Robert.
Grounding a Program Theory to Enable Authentic Inquiry Through Citizen Science.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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