The National Eclipse Weather Experiment: use and evaluation of a citizen science tool for schools outreach

Portas, Antonio, Barnard, Luke, Scott, Chris and Harrison, R. Giles (2016) The National Eclipse Weather Experiment: use and evaluation of a citizen science tool for schools outreach. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374 (2077). p. 20150223. ISSN 1364-503X

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The National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx) was a citizen science project for atmospheric data collection from the partial solar eclipse of 20 March 20. Its role as a tool for schools outreach is discussed here, in seeking to bridge the gap between self-identification with the role of a scientist and engagement with science, technology, engineering andmathematics subjects. (The science data generated have had other uses beyond this, explored elsewhere.) We describe the design of webforms for weather data collection, and the use of several external partners for the dissemination of the project nationwide. We estimate that up to 3500 pupils and teachers took part in this experiment, through the 127 schools postcodes identified in the data submission. Further analysis revealed that 43.3% of the schools were primary schools and 35.4% were secondary. In total, 96.3% of participants reported themselves as captivated or inspired by NEWEx. We also found that 60% of the schools that took part in the experiment lie within the highest quintiles of engagement with higher education, which emphasizes the need for the scientific community to be creative when using citizen science projects to target hard-to-reach audiences. This article is part of the themed issue Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Astrophysics, Citizen science, E-science, Meteorology, Schools outreach, Solar eclipse
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2022 11:13
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2022 11:15

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