School is out for some and will be out for all soon. Parents are often looking for projects to keep their children involved over the summer. Citizen Science projects might be just what you are looking for. Through the internet it is possible to be a part of projects that are national and international. And there are a variety of levels of difficulty and commitment. Try to choose one that the whole family can enjoy together. Maybe your budding scientest already has an interest in insects. The Monarch Butterfly project that was mentioned here last week might be a good choice or perhaps the Dragonfly Swarm will be more to your taste. The sponsors of the Dragonfly swarm have this to say about the importance of citizen science. “Because any given person has to be in the right place at the right time to see a dragonfly swarm, this project isn’t possible for a single scientist to do alone. Collecting data from a large network of people is thus the best way to study dragonfly swarming behavior. Participation requires only curiosity and a few minutes of your time, so keep an eye out for dragonfly swarms in your area this summer and send in your reports!”
You can find the Dragonfly swarm project and many others through the website www.scienceforcitizens.net.
You might also like this article from the Charlotte Observer. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/06/05/2353882/parents-find-fun-online-for-kids.html There are lots more ideas for citizen science and other ideas for keeping your child involved with learning through the summer.
Here’s another site for summer ideas.