Engaging Girls in Community Science

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Contributed by Amanda Sullivan

You may have heard terms like “community science,” “citizen science,” or “participatory science,” but are not sure exactly what they mean. These are all terms that mean, in a nutshell, science engagement that is possible because of people like YOU. Community science is science that is open to all and involves curious people whose individual acts contribute to a collective impact that is accelerating scientific research, discoveries, and local actions that improve the world.  

Community science is about all of us contributing to scientific research and discoveries, regardless of our individual backgrounds or expertise! From sharing photos of nature to helping scientists document biodiversity to browsing images on your computer to help speed up research about Alzheimer's disease, each of these acts of science is important. For example, during the recent total solar eclipse, many people nationwide (both in and outside the eclipse path of totality) joined NASA to learn more about our Sun and Earth and the effects of a total solar eclipse through community science projects 

Community science projects are the perfect way to engage girls in science in meaningful and impactful ways. We know that girls benefit from early exposure to science that is personally and culturally relevant to them. This April, NGCP invites you to spark an interest in science for girls while also making a collective impact as part of the One Million Acts of Science campaign. You can get involved easily by hosting, promoting, or simply participating in events and projects that will engage girls in community science research in fun and hands-on ways. Not sure where to start? The Girl Scouts has teamed up with SciStarter to curate projects for girls to deepen their engagement in community science and explore outdoor STEM. 

Want to learn more? Register for NGCP’s webinar “NGCP Celebrates Citizen Science,” which will be held on April 30, 2024. Join us to celebrate Global Citizen Science Month (April 2024) as we work to broaden participation in the sciences and support scientific research.   

Resources for Engaging Girls in Community Science:  

Amanda Sullivan

Amanda Sullivan

Amanda brings over a decade of experience in education, research, and advocacy for girls in STEM to her role as Senior Program Developer at NGCP. She is passionate about breaking gender stereotypes and providing all children with equal access and opportunities to succeed within (and beyond) STEM from an early age.

Amanda is the author of the book Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood and co-author of the ScratchJr Coding Cards: Creative Coding Activities for Children 5+. Amanda has a Master’s and Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Drama from Bennington College. She is happily married to her college sweetheart and a proud mom to two energetic children and one lazy cat.

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