Citizen Science: Getting Students into STEM

Very excited to be co-hosting this Science on Google+ event along with Buddhini Samarasinghe. We are chatting with paleontologists Jason Osborne and Dr Aaron Alford about their efforts to improve citizen science. In particular, we’ll talk about outreach to students through data collection. I especially love their work that gives youth from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in practical science, including a chance to publish their findings. 

Jason and Aaron Alford are co-founders of Paleo Quest, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes research and educational projects in Paleontology for the public ( Jason and Aaron also founded SharkFinder, a STEM education program that studies fossil remains of elasmobranch (shark, skates and ray) along the USA Atlantic coastal plain of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. SharkFinder provides kits and learning modules for citizens and classrooms to participate in data collection ( 

Jason and Aaron will talk about their efforts to guide youth into STEM careers through hands-on citizen science programs. We will also discuss their upcoming publications that will incorporate data collected by students and the public, as reported by Scientific American ( We’ll then chat about how we can better support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in STEM. 


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