ecoEXPLORE is an incentive-based citizen science program for children in grades K-8. Developed by The North Carolina Arboretum, this innovative pilot program combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging them to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science.
After signing up online, participants go outside in their own backyard or at designated ecoEXPLORE HotSpots to find wildlife species, including plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds.
Participants can use their own device – or check out an iPod Touch at a participating LoanSpot location – and photograph their wildlife observation, noting the data, location, time, size and species observed.
Participants then log into their ecoEXPLORE profile online and submit their “share” or observation. Arboretum staff will then review the data and submit all approved submissions to the iNaturalist Network, which is used by real scientists!