Will high school students be scientific literate when participating in a Citizen Science Project?

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

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Introduction and aim
Citizen Science projects may enhance participants scientific literacy. The University Library of Southern Denmark (ULSD) is partner, in co-creation with the Region of Southern Denmark, five region hospitals and two media houses, in the Citizen Science project “A Healthier Southern Denmark”. The project involves the citizens suggesting themes for health projects and voting for the allocation for funding. In connection ULSD has for 2022 established a high school panel, in collaboration with six high schools and consists of ap. three hundred students (age 16-19).

The aims are:
1.To engage high school students to participate in Citizen Science health projects, and contribute as "young fellow researchers".
2.To investigate if the project will enhance and empower the student’s scientific literacy level.

To meet aim no. 1, the students will be presented to the theory on the health sector in Denmark as well as research designs for user-involved studies. There will be introductions on Citizen Science, including participatory democracy, as well as media, and source criticism. Documents and videos on an USLD Libguide will, in co-creation with the high school teachers, be part of their curriculum. Eventually the students will interview the researchers from the main project “A Healthier Southern Denmark” and will produce a conference poster, based on the methods they have learned.

To meet aim no. 2, an online survey on scientific literacy inspired by TOSLS (Test of Scientific Literacy Skills) is conducted on all the enrolled students. Follow-up interviews (semi-structured questions) are held with a selected number of students, and observations during the project are made.

2019 pilot project
In 2019 a high school panel connected to “A Healthier Southern Denmark” was established as a pilot project. Two high schools and eighty-six students participated. A questionnaire was conducted, and it showed that the students found interest in social and health policy issues and found citizen science an instructive way to involve citizens. On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 low and 5 remarkably high) the students rated “citizen science strengthens the health research” to 4,1, and “citizen science is a beneficial bridge between scientists and citizens” to 4,5.
The pilot project is revised and expanded in 2022, and a survey on scientific literacy is developed.

Results and Discussion
As it is an ongoing project, results will be available in May 2022.
USLD sees projects like the high school panel as a future core task: to make students acquainted with topics within Citizen Science and being scientific literate, and furthermore be encouraged to collect data, and being critical to all sources. The project indicates that a university library can manage to network with several partners while also focusing on high schools’ students learning outcome. ULSD sees a potential for expanding the high school project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateApr 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
EventEngaging Citizen Science Conference 2022 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 25. Apr 202226. Apr 2022


ConferenceEngaging Citizen Science Conference 2022
Internet address


  • citizen science
  • high school students
  • scientific literacy


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