Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Oschrin, Emma [1].

Budburst: Using community science for research and science education.

Budburst, a community science program hosted at the Chicago Botanic Garden, pursues two primary goals: Research and education. Budburst brings together researchers, educators, gardeners, and community scientists on a shared journey to uncover the stories of plants affected by human impacts on the environment. Budburst tells these stories through data collection, data sharing, education, and personal connections. We run five concurrent research projects broadly focused on plants and climate change and plant-animal interactions. We connect with community scientists by working with community organizations, libraries, and schools.
One of our research projects, Milkweeds and Monarchs, launched in July 2020 and in the subsequent summer seasons, has been the primary focus of our programming events. Through this research project, we aim to investigate whether monarch butterflies preferentially lay eggs on flowering or non-flowering milkweed stems. We've partnered with local Chicago community organizations and libraries to train participating community scientists, gather data, and disseminate educational information in English and Spanish. We’ve managed virtual and in-person trainings, run bilingual trainings, and found success by providing educational materials, take-home kits that included plants and magnifying glasses, and funding to both organizations and participants. Budburst would like to share successful practices, lessons learned, and ways we plan to iterate and improve.
Our work with schools focuses on our Nativars project, launched in 2018. This research investigates whether pollinators visit wildtype native plants or their corresponding cultivars more often. We have partnered with local Chicago public schools to collect data on this project. Budburst designs curriculum, plants on-site gardens at schools, and delivers professional development training workshops to participating educators. This project, along with our more general Pollinators and Climate research project, has been successful at giving students hands-on research experience, teaching content focused on place-based climate science, ecology, plant life cycles, plant-animal interactions, and more.
Budburst is a project that can be adapted for students ages K-12, higher education, and adults and is an easy and interactive way to engage the public in authentic scientific research. We invite educators, researchers, community scientists, and conservation organizations to join the project and see what Budburst has to offer!

Related Links:
Budburst website

1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Education, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022, United States

Science communication
Science IRL

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EO1008
Abstract ID:98
Candidate for Awards:None

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