School participation in citizen science (SPICES): substantiating a field of research and practice

Yael Kali, Ornit Sagy, Camillia Matuk, Rikke Magnussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past decade, a growing awareness of citizen science, and the potential of school participation in citizen science (SPICES) has developed. At the heart of any SPICES endeavor lies a partnership representing an unconventional blend of ideas, practices, and agendas, grounded in the realms of both educational practice and scientific research. This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue, substantiating SPICES as a field of research, with conceptualization and exploration of opportunities and tensions as main components. We provide an initial roadmap for future research in the field, with four research trajectories: (a) the notion of mutualism, (b) cognitive challenges that students often face, (c) scientific practices that are uniquely afforded in this field, and how students may be supported in developing them, and (d) emerging design guidelines that can help bridge cultural, epistemic, and organizational gaps within SPICES partnerships. By showing how the six empirical papers that make up this special issue exemplify these trajectories, we claim that SPICES fulfills its literal meaning of a small-in-portion, but significant ingredient within educational systems. SPICES holds the promise of making the grand difference in what schooling can offer students, teachers, communities and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Citizen science
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Mutualism
  • Quality education for all (SDG4)
  • School–academia partnerships
  • Scientific practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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