Our first research project explored on how citizens perform research on systems that they designed themselves. The target area was aquaponics – the growing of plants and fish in a symbiotic relationship. Anyone experimenting with their own aquaponics systems were invited to join in, and be part of one or both of 2 projects.
The first project recorded what fish are they growing, and what plants are they growing and whether the plants grew successfully?
The second was a more indepth study, and people could elect to record information on their system in an on-line diary, and explore other participants diaries to come up with ideas by experimenting come up with and test ideas that worked or did not work.
The results of this project were presented as a poster, entitled “Exploring Experimentation in an Innovative CS Project“and presented at the Citizen Science Conference held in San Jose, California USA in 2015.
Further results were presented at the inaugural Australian Citizen Science Conference in Canberra later, also in 2015. The poster presented here was entitled “Empowering the Citizen to become a Scientist“.
This project showed that those who took part were innovative, and explored ways that resolved their issues, and determined ways that they can make aquaponics work better for them. Their research was very much focused on what worked for them, but suggests ideas that can be applied to others with the same issues.