Learning with Ants.
Ants & Citizen Science for conveying the concepts of nature awareness, biodiversity and scientific thinking.
I share my expertise on ants (e.g., distinguishing native species,
their natural history & characteristics of common ants, similarities to humans) and
how to work with the topic in the classroom.
Ants are a great model to teach cocepts such as nature consciousness, species & biodiversity and the nature of science.
This incredibly diverse group of animals (15,000 species worldwide) is almost omnipresent and an important part of many ecosystems. The special organisation of ants into coloines with division of labor allows for complex behaviors such as agriculture and animal husbandry.
Most students are aware of ants and tend to associate positive characteristics with these animals. This helps foster the joys making discoveries and reduces fear of contact.
2 lesson units, price available upon request
I share my experience with Citizen Science projects at school, in particular their implementation. This lecture includes training for how to independently implement the Ant Picnic Citizen Science project.
Instead of just learning about science in a theoretical way, Citizen Science allows everyone to become a scientist and, additionally, participants are contributing to a real science project.
Citizen Science projects have a lot of potential in schools as they are able to combine empirical research and education. Students learn the scientific method not just in theory but rather apply it first hand; they learn how numbers become data. The data set collected by students can be used interdisciplinarily.
3 lesson units, price available upon inquiry
Magdalena Sorger, PhD is an evolutionary ecologist and science communicator. Her work has been focused on ants since 2008. She taught at universities in the United States. As part of a large-scale collaboration she deleveoped ways for teachers and scientists to work together to better convey science concepts in school through Citizen Science. She created the Citizen Science project Ant Picnic specically for the classroom.