October is here, which means it is time for the 2018 Texas Pollinator Bioblitz!
We participate as "citizen scientists" in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department project that aligns with the migration of monarchs through Texas. Citizen scientists are "normal people" who contribute to the work of "professional" scientists through collecting and sharing data.
Over the past couple of weeks I was able to get Round Rock ISD to approve "SEEK," a family-friendly, "no-login required" app that helps people identify the plants and animals they see in the world around them. We are using that app all over campus to help us learn more, and contribute to broader scientific objectives. Engagement is easy when it is authentic and student-interest based; empowerment comes when students begin analyzing their collections and asking questions about their role in and impact on the ecosystem that surrounds us.