No matter what age you are, you can do real scientific research as a citizen scientist!
Below, SciStarter’s editors feature 10 great citizen science projects for formal and informal science learning settings.
Citizen science has been identified as an effective approach to support student learning in science by engaging students in the science practices as outlined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
To learn more about integrating citizen science into your curriculum, onto your campus, and across your community, view the Citizen Science Association’s webinar featuring SciStarter Education, here.
We wish everyone a phenomenal school year!
The SciStarter Team
With eMammal, your students get to be wildlife biologists! Set out the eMammal camera traps and see what animal observations and scientific data your classroom can gather.
GeckoWatch needs your help in mapping the distribution of non-native geckos, including the Mediterranean House Gecko! You’ll find geckos, take pictures, and send the observation to GeckoWatch.
Help document the diversity of insects and microbes that visit cucurbit plants, including pumpkins! Take pictures and send your observations to The Great Pumpkin Project.
With iNaturalist, anyone can document and study biodiversity anywhere on Earth. There are many ways to use iNaturalist in the classroom: students can survey schoolyard biodiversity, create field guides of plants and animals, analyze data, engage in bioblitzes, and much more. TIP: Add your iNat username to your SciStarter account settings to earn credit for all your contributions!
ISeeChange invites your classroom to share observations and questions related to change in order to collectively investigate weather and climate.
Join in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change with Journey North. Students can help track the migrations of monarch butterflies and many other species by submitting observations.
Location: North America
Collaborate with NASA to help better understand our global environment. By submitting observations, students experience real world scientific research.
Vitamin C is important in the human diet and it is found in citrus fruits, berries, and more. In this project, students will investigate the optimal foods and beverages to take to space to support Vitamin C dietary needs, and avoid Scurvy, which is caused by a lack of Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid!
Collect and share water quality data to help further our global understanding of Earth’s aquatic resources. Students have the opportunity to use their findings to take action towards protecting local water sources.
Find ZomBees and report easy-to-spot signs of infection! ZomBees refer to honey bees that are infected by the Zombie Fly (Apocephalus borealis). Your students’ help is needed to fully study how widespread the ZomBees have become.
Location: North America
Do Science with Your “Lab” Partner
National Dog Day is tomorrow, August 26, and to celebrate, you can do science with your dog. Woof! In our last newsletter, we spotlighted five ways you can do science with your “lab” partner. You can find it on the SciStarter blog.
Year of Citizen Science: September Calendar
Check out SciStarter’s online and printable monthly calendar of events and holidays (like Water Monitoring Day) linked to relevant citizen science projects. Great for the classroom! You can find it here.
Citizen Science: Ears Edition
In this episode of the Citizen Science podcast, co-host Caroline Nickerson talks with the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (or COASST, for short) project about monitoring marine resources and ecosystem health. You can listen here.
Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!
New on our syndicated blogs:
Behind the Scenes of INVENTING TOMORROW with the WaterInsights™ Team via Science Connected Magazine
Human Impact: Climate Change and Citizen Science via Discover Magazine
Wicked Hot Boston: Urban Heat Island (UHI) Mapping via the SciStarter blog
About the Author
Jill Nugent works in higher education where she teaches and serves as an administrator in online STEM programs. Her undergraduate degree is from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree is in biological sciences where she studied animal behavior and conservation biology. She holds teacher certification in science and life science/biology and is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University where she is investigating locally engaged, globally connected citizen science. Jill authors a monthly citizen science column in the NSTA Journal, Science Scope and was a contributing author on the NSTA Press book, “Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life”. Outside of teaching, writing, and engaging in citizen science projects, Jill enjoys volunteering with ManeGait, a therapeutic riding equestrian center in North Texas. You can connect with Jill on Twitter @ntxscied.