The Power Plant Mapping Student Project: Bringing Citizen Science to Schools

Kelsey Tayne1, Tom Oda2

1STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Fellow, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132

2NOAA ESRL, Global Monitoring Division, Boulder, CO 80303

Emissions inventory (EI) is a conventional tool to monitor changes in anthropogenic emissions and can visually show geographical patterns of emission changes. The EI community is aware of significant errors in the geographical locations of point sources, including power plants. The Power Plant Mapping Student Project (PPMSP) is a platform designed for students in 4th through 12th grade classrooms to improve the geographical location of power plants indicated in existing datasets to benefit international EI research. Using the VENTUS platform (http://ventus.project.asu.edu/), students view supposed power plant coordinates on Google Maps. Students either verify the location of a power plant or search for it within a designated radius using various indicators, an e-guide, and a power plant gallery for assistance. If the plant cannot be found, students mark the plant as unverified. While participating in meaningful research that directly benefits the EI research community, students are engaged in relevant science curricula designed to meet each grade level’s Next Generation Science Standards. Through accessible and integrative curricula, students study energy, climate science, mapping and various computer programs. With PPMSP, students are empowered to participate in relevant research and become future leaders in mitigating climate change.


Environmental Education | Environmental Monitoring | Oil, Gas, and Energy


Tom Oda

Lab site

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Earth Systems Research Laboratory (NOAA ESRL)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/276


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