Youth-focused community and citizen science (CCS) is increasingly used to promote science learning and to increase the accessibility of the tools of scientific research among historically marginalized and underserved communities. CCS projects are frequently categorized according to their level of public participation and their distribution of power between professional scientists and participants from collaborative and co-created projects to projects where participants have limited roles within the science process. In this study, we examined how two different CCS models, a contributory design and a co-created design, influenced science self-efficacy and science interest among youth CCS participants. We administered surveys and conducted post-program interviews with youth participation in two different CCS projects in Alaska, the Winterberry Project and Fresh Eyes on Ice, each with a contributory and a co-created model. We found that youth participating in co-created CCS projects reflected more often on their science self-efficacy than did youth in contributory projects. The CCS program model did not influence youths’ science interest, which grew after participating in both contributory and co-created projects. Our findings suggest that when youth have more power and agency to make decisions in the science process, as in co-created projects, they have greater confidence in their abilities to conduct science. Further, participating in CCS projects excites and engages youth in science learning, regardless of the CCS program design.
Clement S, Spellman K, Oxtoby L, Kealy K, Bodony K, Sparrow E, Arp C. 2023. Redistributing Power in Community and Citizen Science: Effects on Youth Science Self-Efficacy and Interest. Sustainability. 15-11: DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118876.