Becoming a Bio-Engineer

By Guest | December 8, 2018 4:48 pm

Image Source: Amino Labs

Image Source: Amino Labs


The genetic modification of crops (GMOs) and the concept of designer babies (thanks to CRISPR technology) may be two of the most recognizable, yet controversial, topics related to the field of genetic engineering. At its core, genetic engineering, also known as bioengineering, is the genetic modification of an organism. Some view genetic engineering as an enigmatic topic, shrouded in mystery and limited to the lab.

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A Year of Citizen Science Calendar: December

By cnickerson | December 7, 2018 3:10 pm

Dec (2)

As a gift to the citizen science community, this holiday season, SciStarter created a beautiful citizen science calendar!

This calendar was developed with the help of a lot of people. The Citizen Science Association Listservand Jill Nugent compiled an awesome collection of events, and then Erica Chenoweth took this list and created a Google Calendar with even more citizen science prompts.

You can add to the Google Calendar whenever you wish, to any month in the year, by emailing Caroline Nickerson at Each month, Caroline will release a printable version of the calendar featuring some of the events from the Google Calendar.

The Google Calendar includes events from SciStarter’s Web Calendar (which syncs with SciStarter’s online Event Finder), but is separate from it because the Google Calendar includes general prompts for citizen science (like participating in bird projects on National Bird Day) in addition to specific events that can be found on SciStarter’s Web Calendar (like the Dissecting the Food Web Free Webinar).

We still urge you to post your specific event on SciStarter’s Web Calendar, because then you will be included in the Event Finder and can utilize the People Finder (to message participants about your event on the SciStarter platform). Also, your event will be cross-posted with the Google Calendar.

For more general ideas (for example, a New Moon or National Dog Day) that you want to tie-in to citizen science, email Caroline Nickerson about the the Google Calendar.

SciStarter’s own Erica Chenoweth, an Alaskan and the key architect of the Google Calendar, added many of the events from an Alaskan perspective. Usually, it doesn’t matter for our days (National Cat Day just begins in Alaska at midnight in their time zone and midnight wherever you happen to be), but every once in a while, there’s a little quirk of science. For example, the equinox happens at a single moment, so it may be on the wrong day on some of your calendars, but in Alaska, its on the 21st. If you have any questions or just want to chat about science, feel free to reach out to Erica!



Give the gift of citizen science this year!

By lshell | December 1, 2018 6:53 pm
winter-gift-holdingOverwhelmed with holiday shopping? Well, maybe our team can help you out with some gifts that support citizen science!
Whether it’s a kit or some citizen science project swag, there are a lot of ways to show your support and share the world of citizen science with your friends and relatives.
The SciStarter Team

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Combating Climate Change: Advice from a Fellow of the Royal Society, England’s National Academy of Science, Which Launched on This Day in 1660

By Julia Travers | November 28, 2018 2:33 am
A collage of two images; on the left, the title page from the first Royal Society publication, andon the right, the cover for its recent greenhouse gas removal report.

A collage of two images; on the left, the title page from the first Royal Society publication, andon the right, the cover for its recent greenhouse gas removal report.

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Citizen Science goes to camp and into classrooms: Join us for a Virtual Citizen Science Field Trip!

By Guest | November 27, 2018 6:17 pm


Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

This fall, students everywhere were treated to a citizen science virtual field trip organized by Discovery Education and the Girl Scouts of the USA. “Unleash Your Inner Scientist,” the title of virtual field trip,  featured SciStarter’s Founder, Darlene Cavalier, and was filmed on location at the 92-acre STEM Center of Excellence in Dallas, Texas. No worries if you missed it when it originally aired because the full-length virtual field trip video is available for you to explore at your convenience.(Video versión en Español, aquí). The virtual field trip and associated resources can be integrated in both formal and informal educational settings. Not only can the field trip can help introduce learners to citizen science opportunities, but it can also inspire learners to engage in authentic science all year long!

The girl-led citizen science virtual field trip kicked off on October 18th and helped to launch the national “Girls Get ST

EM” initiative which encourages young learners to pursue STEM careers in support of the  next generation of STEM leaders. During the field trip, learners explored citizen science projects, engaged in the process of authentic science, and learned how science can help build a better world. The premiere event also included a live Twitter chat (using the hashtag #CitizenScientistVFT), and SciStarter joined in the chat along with Discovery Education, the Girl Scouts, and classrooms across the country!

jill post2

jill post3


Learn about ZomBee Watch:


Learn about NASA GO Clouds:

Learn about Stream Selfie:


During the Twitter chat with Discovery Education, the Girl Scouts, and SciStarter, participants were asked to think about ways to stay engaged in citizen science after the field trip.

jill post4

Participants shared excellent, creative, and diverse ideas. Many mentioned interest in trying the citizen science projects featured in the field trip video. SciStarter invites everyone to extend the virtual field trip by exploring and engaging in projects of interest to you. In addition to the Project Finder, SciStarter also developed the “Think Like a Citizen Scientist” resource that shares recommended projects tailored for Girl Scouts and other young explorers!

jill post5

On the heels of the first ever girl-led citizen science virtual field trip, a timely report related to learning and citizen science was released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (You can access the full report from the National Academies Press, here). The report, coauthored by Cavalier, concludes that citizen science can be an effective and impactful way to support learning goals, promote engagement in science, and cultivate scientific literacy across diverse audiences. You can view the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine video overview designed to summarize the report findings, below:

Citizen science provides a meaningful method to engage learners in authentic science and it inspires action in classrooms and across communities.

jill post6

We invite everyone to view the virtual field trip video, explore citizen science projects, and get involved in projects that interest you! In closing, we’d like to share a reflection from one of the citizen science virtual field trip participants, a young scientist, in her own words: “Girls can be amazing and powerful if you put the power in the right hands.” Thank you to all who are making a positive difference in the world through citizen science!


Book Review: Introspection through citizen science

By Guest | November 26, 2018 3:23 pm

Busch, Akiko. The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science. Yale University Press, 2014. 256 pages. Paperback $US16.00

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MORE ABOUT: Discovery, Stewardship

A delightful menu of citizen science for Thanksgiving

By lshell | November 21, 2018 7:43 pm

thanksgiving-dinnerDig into this serving of Thanksgiving projects with friends and family.

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you, our outstanding community of citizen scientists and researchers.
Thank you for your efforts, big and small.
Happy Thanksgiving. Now, feast on these projects!
The SciStarter Team

New-Hampshire-Turkey-Observers-scistarterNew Hampshire Turkey Observers

This project is for our New England friends. Record sightings of female turkeys and their young to help biologists learn about the impacts of winter storms on turkeys in New Hampshire.
Location: New Hampshire, USA

tnmcorps_editorThe National Map Corps

This Thanksgiving it’s expected that new travel records will be set. Every place we go requires accurate mapping. Through this project, you will help verify online data for a National Map.
Location: Global

Feeling snowed-in and in want of something more exotic? Take this opportunity to count, identify and track giraffes on conservation field sites in Kenya. This work helps communities in Kenya save the giraffe from extinction.
Location: Online Only

american-gut-microbe-citizen-science-scistarterAmerican Gut

How do your microbes impact your health? Help researchers study trillions of microbes in and on our bodies! Collect and compare your microbes to those of others.
Location: North America

mushroom-observer-scistarteMushroom Observer

Mmmmm. Mushrooms! After a rain storm the fungi that were laying dormant make themselves known. Record your observations about mushrooms to help expand their scientific exploration. Once you get started, you’ll notice mushrooms everywhere.
Location: Global

GOT2017-1Genetics of Taste Lab

Help scientists discover the link between genetics and taste. It seems that everyone has different food preferences. This lab is looking to see if you taste whole wheat differently than other people based on your DNA.
Location: Global

Western_MonarchWestern Monarch Thanksgiving Count

Every year the monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains migrate to the coast of California, where they spend the winter. If the air quality is safe for you to venture outside, check to see if these beautiful butterflies made it safely.
We are thinking of everyone in California enduring the terrible firestorms and residual smoke. Stay safe.
Location: California, USA

surveytimeCalling all Project Leaders!

Researchers from North Carolina State University want to learn from you, and, in the process, help make SciStarter work better (for you!). The surveys are anonymous, and no personally identifiable information will be collected.

Please take a few moments to participate.

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 3000+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!


Citizen Science in the Classroom: Raspberry Shake

By Guest | November 19, 2018 10:40 am

SciStarter’s very own Jill Nugent blogs about Raspberry Shake!

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Classroom

Part Three of Curio Series: Q&A with Co-Founder, Conor Nugent

By Guest | November 18, 2018 1:09 pm

This post is part three of a three-part series about how Curio can help citizens recognize, appreciate, and care for the highly beneficial green spaces around them. Special thanks to Megan Ray Nichols for putting all this together. Portions of this interview appeared in part one of this series.

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MORE ABOUT: Curio, trees, Urban Maps

Part Two of Curio Series: A Word From Co-Founder, Paul Hickey

By Guest | November 18, 2018 1:02 pm

This post is part two of a three-part series about how Curio can help citizens recognize, appreciate, and care for the highly beneficial green spaces around them.

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MORE ABOUT: Curio, trees, Urban Maps

Citizen Science Salon

Scistarter logo

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.

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