Iconic photo by Joe Rosenthal showing the raising of the United States flag over Iwo Jima.

This time on The Children’s Hour we learn how everyone can contribute to active scientific research by participating in Community Science with groups like BEMP: the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program.

This episode comes with a free Learn-Along Guide that meets and cites US National Education Standards.

Download & print

The Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program or BEMP, studies the riparian forest along the Rio Grande in New Mexico as it travels from Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, down to the Gulf of Mexico in El Paso, Texas. Students in BEMP work with the program as part of their school science curriculum, taking multiple field trips to the bosque to collect data, from counting insects, to measuring leaf litter. 

When the kids collect their data, they are participating in community science. In order for scientists to understand as much as possible about our climate, soil health, endangered species, weather, and so much more, they need to get as much information as possible. Members of every community are needed to collect certain kinds of data from wherever they may live. BEMP helps teachers make that effort part of a day at school. 

More than 100,000 New Mexican students have worked directly with BEMP, as of fall 2022. The video below describes what BEMP does, and we hear from students about what the work they do means to them, and to their communities.

You can learn a lot more about Community Science in our Learn-Along Guide that’s posted above. Press the button and your download will start. This guide meets and cites US National Education Standards, and will expand on what we explored today on the show.

BEMP has also graciously provided the following learning modules.

This episode was produced by Katie Stone, our Executive Producer and our Senior Producer, Christina Stella. Our Learn-Along Guides are written by Jonathan Dunski, with help from Lorraine Archibald. Many thanks to Zoe Wadkins-Daniels for providing so many additional resources for us to share with our listeners.

©2023 The Children’s Hour Inc.


Please note: not all songs we play can be found in Spotify.

Playlist: Community Science

Citizen ScienceMonty HarperSingle2011 Monty Harper
Born to Do ScienceMonty HarperSongs from the Science Frontier2010 Monty Harper
ScienceNancy StewartSing a Song of Science2022 1137837 Records DK
It's Just Common SenseFolk Club KidsFolk Club Kids2021 Folk Club Kids
ShenandoahSalmonLiketheFishMusic for the Sleepy Traveler2017 762637 Records DK
We Know the Air Is There (Hi, Ho, Fiddle Dee Dee)Cathy Fink & Marcy MarxerZoom a Little Zoom: A Ride Through Science2018 Community Music, Inc.
(I Wanna Be Like) Madam CurieRenee & JeremyScience Fair2012 Spare the Rock Records LLC
City LifeKetsasingle2020 Ketsa
Done with the Science FairThe Not-Its!Are You Listening?2016 Little Loopy Records
If Ya Don't Like Science (That's Fine)The Deedle Deedle DeesHow to Fix America2021 Lloyd H. Miller
5 StarKetsasingle2020 Ketsa
Thank You ScienceMarsha and the Positrons & Claudia Robin GunnThank You Science - Single2023 Shoeless Sheep Records
Mystical Science LibrarianThe Dirty Sock Funtime BandThe Dirty Socks Come Clean2013 Dirty Sock Funtime Band, Inc.
We Work Well TogetherFolk Club KidsFolk Club Kids2021 Folk Club Kids

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