Decipher my data! was born out of the idea that students benefit from performing real science using real data in the classroom. Students and teachers become scientists working alongside leading researchers on scientific studies to produce better results than either could achieve on their own.
Decipher my data! is not one single project but a series of science projects, which use the Decipher my data! website to download data and upload results. The projects will deliver across the curriculum and skills required for secondary education (GCSE) science class and are supported by a set of lesson plans and other learning resources to meet teacher’s needs.
Each project consists of three phases:
- Context setting
- Data collection and analysis
- Reporting and Reviewing
Decipher my data! has almost finished it’s first educational study: Flu, which is still open for schools to enter their data and LabLogs and Reports.
You can keep up to date with Decipher my data! and the Flu project by following us on twitter @deciphermydata and watch out for tweets marked #IASdata.
When starting out on Decipher My Data – Flu! we set ourselves some high targets whilst embracing a lot unknown factors. We didn’t predict that the lowest levels of flu for 25 years would be a factor, but it was. That combined with dealing with unexpected ethical issues and our own struggle to communicate the project meant we wanted to relaunch the project in time for the 2012/13 flu season.
Originally our evaluation was to focus on the educational benefits of the project, but we made the decision to focus on how to improve it and to ask if teachers would be likely to participate a second time and what changes we would need to make in order to convince them to give it another go.
We were taken aback by the support shown by teachers and through this report and our own self-reflection we have learnt a great deal.
The report is of greatest interest to us as the project team, but other science communicators and scientists looking to run citizen science project might find it of interest.
Decipher My Data – Flu 2011-12 – Evaluation