The Gardiner Lab at The Ohio State University is developing a youth-focused citizen science program called Dandelion Detectives. The lab is seeking individuals, school groups, and other youth organizations to participate in this collaborative project! Dandelion Detectives aims to measure the value of lawn weeds for bees and other insects by having school age kids (targeting 3-7th graders) monitor an “Observation Dandelion” and collect data about the richness of blooming weeds (or lack thereof) found in their yard. Dandelion Detectives will take place over the summer of 2020 and is open to anyone who has access to a yard.
The project will take ~5 hours to complete and involves: completing a pre and post questionnaire about insects and their importance; observing insects at an “Observation Dandelion” created using simple provided materials and sugar water mixture; and conducting a lawn weed survey. Participating Dandelion Detectives will be able to upload all of their findings to a project website. At the end of the project, students will receive a “Student Scientist” certificate and be invited to attend an optional event in Columbus Ohio where they can meet OSU scientists who study insects and see what their data and participation has contributed to!