Scottsdale Independent

Junior Citizen Science Festival slated for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

A scenic view of of the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (file photo)

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is hosting the Junior Citizen Science Festival showcase how scientists study the environment and how citizen scientists can increase their knowledge of the natural world.

The Junior Citizen Science Festival — which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3 at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead at 12601 N. 124th St. — features more than 15 hands-on, interactive learning stations that immerse you in the wonders of our natural world, a press release states.

“This event will connect people with the Sonoran Desert. Youth and families can share an experiential day learning about how scientists and members of the general public – citizen scientists — study our environment,” Tiffany Sprague, manager of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute, said in a prepared statement.

“We want to help prepare our youth for the future by ensuring that students in our community have exposure to cool science learning opportunities in the Preserve,”  Debbie Langenfeld, steward and Citizen Science chair at McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, said in a prepared statement.

Participants, who must be accompanied by an adult, can visit as many of the activities as they wish, but those who complete at least eight activities will earn a special certificate.

Participants who pre-register will receive a special Junior Citizen Scientist bag loaded with educational items. Grants from Cox Communications, Thunderbirds Charities, Bass Pro Shops, Arizona SciTech Festival, Arby’s and the city of Scottsdale, made the event possible, according to a release.

Those interested can register at

“We look forward to hosting Arizona children in the beautiful McDowell Sonoran Preserve and witnessing their awe and wonder as they learn about science,” Justin Owen, executive director at McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, said in a prepared statement.