Birds + Kids = Inspiration

February 6, 2015

“Professors, scientists, college students are real people…and that could be me!”

So said an inner-city teenager who never thought if herself as a potential scientist, until she attended a workshop on birds and science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology through the Celebrate Urban Birds program. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

The project tackles the problem of under-representation by inner-city youth in the sciences, and it does so through a one-on-one, personal approach that opens the door to a world they might not have experienced otherwise.

Celebrate Urban Birds teaches the process of science through the study and citizen-science monitoring of birds, with a focus on the species most frequently seen in cities. The project also doubles as a citizen-science project on urban bird populations.

For most of the kids involved, Celebrate Urban Birds is their first exposure to birds. But the result is more than a crash course in ornithology—it’s a young person’s realization of their scientific potential.

Celebrate Urban Birds—By the Numbers

  • 1,767 organizations worked with Celebrate Urban Birds in the past year to reach 143,781 participants.
  • 130+ underrepresented youth and educators were brought to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y., for intensive science and career workshops.
  • 39 CUBs mini-grants were awarded to organizations throughout the continent that worked with 4,500 underrepresented participants.
  • 10+ regional workshops were conducted across the country to reach out to underserved youth in at-risk communities.

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