SciStarter’s Back to School Citizen Science Backpack!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | August 29, 2014 3:38 am
SciStarter Goes Back to School!

SciStarter Goes Back to School! (Image Credit: Shutterstock / YuriImaging )

It’s that time of the year when SciStarter goes back to school! Our Project Finder is full of citizen science projects perfect for the classroom. Why citizen science in the classroom you ask? Well here are 8 great reasons why citizen science works in the classroom!

We highlight 10 projects here that can be used in the classroom, as homework assignments, or as after school family activities across a variety of subjects and age groups. For more classroom projects take a look at our classroom picks!

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 11.28.40 AMProject Budburst

Participating in Project BudBurst, a NEON citizen science program, is easy. Everything needed to participate is on the web site. Choose a plant to monitor and share your observations with others online. Not sure where to start? Take a look at the Ten Most Wanted species. Get started!


Cell Slider

Help cancer researchers identify cancerous cells by looking at online slides from drug trial data and identifying colored sections using prompts. The results will help researchers better understand drug trial data. Get started!

The Sun Lab

Help Nova Lab explore what makes the Sun so volatile and get access to the same data and tools scientists use to predict solar storms-so that you can predict them for yourself. Get started! 

project imageCelebrate Urban Birds
Help ornithologists learn about 16 key species of urban birds by tracking them for 10 minutes in a small area. Celebrate Urban Birds provides all of the necessary materials to get you started. Get Started!


World Water Monitoring Day

On September 18, join other classrooms sampling local water bodies to measure temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity), and dissolved oxygen. You’ll need to purchase an easy-to-use test kit. Get started!

project imageBe a Martian

Help NASA manage the large amount of data from the Red Planet. Earn Martian credits by helping place satellite photos on Mars’s surface, counting craters, and even helping the rovers Spirit and Opportunity by tagging photos with descriptions. Get started!

project imageProject NOAH

Help researchers and organizations by discovering and documenting local wildlife on your mobile phone. Missions can range from photographing specific frogs or flowers to tracking migrating birds or invasive species or logging the effects of the oil spill. Get started! 

project imageDragonfly Migration

Help learn more about dragonfly migration in North America. Monitor the spring and fall movements of the 5 main migratory species in North America, or report on these species throughout the year at a pond or wetland of your choice. by reporting movements of 5 main migratory species. Get started!

School Of Ants

Help map ant diversity and species ranges across North America by collecting ants from your schoolyard or backyard. Researchers will ID the ants and add the species list to the big School of Ants map. Get started! 


Measure rain, hail and snow falling near your home or school and share the data with meteorologists. Your reports are immediately available for viewing so you can also compare your school to other schools’ precipitations! Get started!

Want even more? Subscribe to SciStarter’s newsletter! 

Editors Note: A version of this post appeared on the SciStarter blog.

MORE ABOUT: citizen science

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Citizen Science Salon, brought to you by SciStarter, is where science enthusiasts can join forces with top researchers. We'll feature weekly collaborative, crowdsourced, and DIY research projects that relate to what you're reading about in Discover, so you can take science into your own hands. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Arvind Suresh (Editor)

Arvind Suresh has a Master's degree in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelors degree in Biotechnology from PSG College of Technology, India. He is also an information addict, gobbling up everything he can find on and off the internet. He enjoys reading, teaching, talking and writing science, and following that interest led him to SciStarter. Outside the lab and the classroom, he can be found behind the viewfinder of his camera.


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