NYC DOE and STEM Matters NYC Logo 07.2017
2017-18 Citizen Science Program Application


The STEM Matters NYC Citizen Science program connects middle school teachers and students to crowdsourced 'research missions' designed and led by science-focused partner organizations around New York City. 2017-18 Citizen Science research missions will focus on The Health of New York City’s Estuary Ecosystem, and will examine the impact of humans on an estuary ecosystem in a densely populated area.

Program Features and Goals

Citizen Science is structured as an after-school club for 20-30 students that meets weekly from October to June, and is co-led by two teachers, at least one of whom must be a science teacher. Each two-teacher team will select one of the research missions below to explore through two data collection field trips in the fall of 2017, and will work with their students to analyze collected data and propose and carry out a related service-learning project in the winter and spring of 2018.

  • Mission 1: Reducing the amount of floatable trash in the Bronx River
  • Mission 2: Identifying building materials that best promote the growth of organisms in a healthy marine ecosystem
  • Missions 3 and 4: Minimizing the impact of combined sewer overflows on water quality

Teachers will participate in four professional development days to that will introduce them to their research mission, and that will support data analysis and the development and presentation of a related service-learning project. Professional development days will take place on school days, and the Citizen Science team will cover the cost of per-diem substitute coverage for all teachers in attendance. Per-session rate will be provided for up to 40 hours of time spent leading and preparing for the club outside of regular school hours.

Goals include:

  • Student exposure to authentic, hands-on science issues and research;
  • Expansion of teachers’ ability to integrate science research skills and Common Core performance expectations in mathematics and literacy into their club programming; and
  • Students’ and teachers’ planning and carrying out of a service-learning project that positively impacts a local ecological issue.

 Additional program information can be found on the 2017-18 Citizen Science Teacher FAQ document.

The Principal’s Role

While principals do not have to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the program, they are expected to support teachers in successful implementation of their Citizen Science club. Principals and administrators are encouraged to attend the culminating Research Symposium in June 2018.

A 2017-18 Citizen Science Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support is required to complete the application. Each applicant team should download and print the Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support, have their principal sign, it, and then email a scanned copy or digital photograph to with the subject line "Citizen Science Program Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support". Applications that do not include a Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support will not be considered.

Timeline 2017-18

Wednesday, September 20:

Teacher Application Deadline

Monday, September 25:

Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support Deadline

Wednesday, September 27:

Teachers accepted to the Citizen Science program are notified

Thursday, October 5:

Citizen Science PD Day 1: Introduction to Citizen Science

Wednesday, October 18;

Thursday, October 19; 

Friday, October 20; or

Tuesday, October 24:

Citizen Science PD Day 2: Introduction to your Research Mission

(at selected partner sites - each teacher team attends ONE of these PD days)


Weekly Citizen Science Club Meetings begin

Late October to mid-November:

Club does first data collection trip to partner site

Mid-November to early December:

Club does second data collection trip to partner site

Friday, December 15:

Citizen Science PD Day 3: Data Analysis

December 2017-January 2018:

Citizen Science clubs upload collected data and begin to plan out service-learning project

Thursday, January 25:

Citizen Science PD Day 4: Introduction to Service-Learning and Planning your Service-Learning Project

February to May 2018:

Citizen Science clubs complete data analysis and service-learning project

Tuesday, June 5:

Teachers and their students present their research and service-learning projects at the Research Symposium

Tips for Success

To be sure that you have successfully completed and submitted your application, please note the following:

  • Consider drafting your responses to the open-ended questions offline to make sure that you are able to edit and save your responses, and to avoid being timed out of the application.
  • Make sure that you have reviewed and finalized your responses prior to selecting the "Finish" button at the bottom of the second page.
  • Following submission of your application, check the email address that you provided on your application to be sure that you have received an application submission confirmation email from