This summer, we're a family of guinea pigs. Like you (I suspect), we are fans of curiosity, of science, and of teaching the art of independent thinking to our children. Thanks to the wonderful university at our finger tips, each of the kids has participated in at least one study at the Institute of Child Development. I've talked to more than a few friends who have signed their kids up as well.
Our trip to campus was an outstanding field trip for the kids. Our participation in the studies gave the girls, especially Miss Second Grader, an opportunity to think about the research process. She even asked a few questions of the researchers we met.
Plus it gave us a great opportunity to talk about a unique new way to volunteer our time. As Little Miss Four said, "if they can study us and a lot of other kids, maybe they can help us all learn and grow really well."
Well put little one!
Here is a great link to get your kids started with sociological research.
If you participate in or conduct studies of your own, be sure to help your kids think through the potential impact of this sort of science on other children and families.