Dr Vanessa’s Citizen Science

22 February 2019

The BCS Citizen Science classes are anything but quiet. Before you even enter the room there is laughter greeting you at the doorway, and the mingled voices of the participants as they shout out answers to Dr Vanessa’s questions.

From the properties of water, to bottle-rockets and even Dr Who, this class covers it all and, only starting at the end of 2018, it has already become a favourite among the NDIS Participants here at BCS.

This is, in large, due to the amazing Dr Vanessa, who has over 20 years of experience in the disability and education sectors.

Dr Vanessa now works at the Australian National University as a scientist and delivers workshops for organisations with students with disabilities.

She says the citizen science program has been great at BCS, “we’ve had some participants return this term and I’m so happy because they’ve remembered everything. It’s great to see them moving forward in their science”.

Citizen Science encourages people who are not scientists to participate in research and increase their knowledge.

With the new term new participants have signed up to the BCS program, allowing Dr Vanessa new opportunities with the group.

One of the participants has allowed me to modify a lot of the equipment to be more inclusive. And he’s so cooperative.

We had to adjust a bike pump so he was able to use it, and together we managed to modify the pump for him. And once you’ve modified the equipment and know it’s usable, it’s usable for so many people,” she says.

And while the group cover so many topics, Dr Vanessa says they have enjoyed the botany experiments the most.

We followed the life cycle of a plant right through to dehydration and disintegration until the plant was dead. They loved it. Their diagrams were great and they still talk about it and remember it all”.

A group of people making a bottle-rocket

Dr Vanessa (left) and Denae and Cal (right) making bottle-rockets.

Scientist teaching a class

Dr Vanessa bring Citizen Science to BCS.

Scientist with beaker full of water

Michael learning about the properties of water.

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