This is the third blog in this series on iNaturalistNZ (Blog 1: Contributing to your community as a non-scientist using iNaturalistNZ; Blog 2: Using iNaturalistNZ to build 21st Century Capabilities in Students). In this post I investigate how iNaturalistNZ can be used with specific Learning Areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.
Just a reminder that iNaturalistNZ is predominantly a Science platform which helps build a community of citizen scientists who have the opportunity to interact with professional scientists. It also enables scientists to access reliable data collected by others that they can analyse. Results can inform people so they can take action. iNaturalistNZ utilises the free iNaturalist smartphone app for Android or Apple.
My observation of an endemic butterfly, the New Zealand Red Admiral or kahukura.
As far as Learning Areas are concerned, iNaturalistNZ is squarely aimed at the Living World strand of the Science. But, I believe, it fits even more strongly with the overarching Nature of Science strand, and the more recently espoused Science Capabilities (more). The data in iNaturalistNZ observations is open for anyone to analyse, so it cries out to be used in Mathematics and Statistics. Most people turn on GPS when they record their observations, so data has a location component, which also begs to be used in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) applications. GIS is a critical part of modern planning and design industries, with new jobs in GIS popping up everywhere that most adults have never heard of. GIS is also a key aspect of Geography in secondary schools and in tertiary education. In relation to the Social Sciences, iNaturalistNZ can provide a place where students and whānau can “contribute to their local community”, and, at the same time, “engage critically with societal issues”.