Like your citizen science with a side of fun? Check out these gaming projects!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | February 23, 2015 1:00 am

Citizen science makes serious contributions to our understanding of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun doing it!

Here are five projects that combine science and gameplay to create an exciting experience for everyone.

The SciStarter Team

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Technology

Nanocrafter: Playing a Game of Synthetic Biology

By Carolyn Graybeal | February 22, 2015 6:00 am
Nanocrafter image

Image Credit: Nanocrafter

On its surface, it looks like just another science puzzle game. In reality, the game is part of a broader goal to enable non-scientists to contribute to synthetic biology research.

‘It’ is Nanocrafter, a project created by researchers and game developers at the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington. They are the same team behind the citizen science project FoldIt.

“Most citizen science games are designed to gather data for a specific research question. Players may need to be good at pattern recognition, abstract reasoning, or other cognitive skills. Our focus at Nanocrafter is different,” says Nanocrafter Project Lead Jonathan Barone. “The project isn’t intended to address any existing research. Rather, we are interested in developing a user community that is familiar enough with the principles and parameters of synthetic biology to generate new ideas, identify new questions and create their own solutions.” Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World
MORE ABOUT: synthetic biology

Now is your chance! Inform NASA’s Asteroid Initiative.

By Darlene Cavalier | February 18, 2015 10:33 am

nasa citizen forum

Go to to get started!

In November, several hundred people in Phoenix, Boston, and online came together to learn about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative and to consider and discuss different approaches to dealing with the opportunities and threats posed by asteroids. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Space & Physics

Citizen Science for Your Genes and Proteins

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | February 9, 2015 7:59 pm


DNA, proteins, and chromosomes are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but there are plenty of citizen science projects that make the building blocks of life accessible to us all.

Here are some great projects that need your help to advance our understanding of what we’re made of and where we come from.


Read More

MORE ABOUT: genes, proteins

San Jose, CA: We’re coming at you with a TON of #citizenscience!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | February 6, 2015 3:47 pm

Are you planning to attend the Citizen Science Association’s Conference and/or the American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference and Family Science Days in San Jose, CA?

Let’s meet up!

Here’s where you will find SciStarter: All events are at the San Jose Convention Center.

Citizen Science Association Conference

2/11 11:50am The Crowd & The Cloud – Using Broadcast and Social Media to Advance and Support Citizen Science

Abstract: A November 2013 workshop on “New Visions in Citizen Science” at the Wilson Center concluded with a series of recommendations as to next steps, including (1) raising the visibility and impact of citizen science (CS); (2) broadening participation and lowering barriers to entry; and (3) developing and deploying training materials, including “success stories.” THE CROWD & THE CLOUD project (C&C), supported by NSF, is an ambitious transmedia initiative addressing each of those challenges. C&C includes 4 hour-long public television programs to air in Fall 2016, innovative social media resources, including a custom-designed 2nd screen app to help turn “viewers into do-ers,” and external evaluation to address the questions, “How, where, when, why and with whom can media, both broadcast and online, generate greater and deeper involvement in citizen science?” This session addresses conference Themes 1, 2 and 4 and invites creative collaboration by attendees in C&C’s work relatively early in project development. Read More


And the winners of the #spacemicrobes Microbial Playoffs are…

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | February 5, 2015 4:24 am


Bigger, faster, stronger...which microbe will win in space? (Image Credit: NCI via Wikimedia Commons CC BY)

Bigger, faster, stronger…which microbes will win in space? (Image Credit: NCI via Wikimedia Commons CC BY)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by David Coil a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis and a member of the Project MERCURRI team which included SciStarter and Science Cheerleaders. The post originally appeared here

We’ve finished analyzing all the data from the “Microbial Playoffs” part of Project MERCCURI(described here).   Each microbe that was chosen to fly to the International Space Station (list of candidate microbes here) was plated out 6 times on the plates that were analyzed in space.   We looked at three categories; Best Huddle, Best Tip-Off, and Best Sprint.    Here are the winners for each of the three categories: Read More

In True Citizen Science Fashion, Crowdsourcing a Bibliography

By Ian Vorster | February 2, 2015 6:00 am

Books on a library shelf (CC0 Public Domain)

Record of the first bibliography can be traced back to the Ancient Library of Alexandria. The former Macedonian general Ptolemy I Soter, who was a successor to Alexander the Great, founded the library. The library itself would go on to become a renowned center of scholarship.  Read More


Winter Weather Citizen Science!

By Guest | January 27, 2015 9:00 am
winter-250x168 top

Photo: NPS

Winter weather is upon us! Many folks bundle up and venture outside to participate in citizen science, while others look for projects they can do indoors.

Here’s a mitten-full of indoor and outdoor cold-weather projects for you to explore.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
MORE ABOUT: newsletter

Propose or Join a Citizen Science Hackfest Project!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | January 21, 2015 2:13 pm

Propose or join a project or activity for the SciStarter Hackfest at the Citizen Science Association Conference!

Be a part of SciStarter's hackfest at CitSci 2015 in San Jose, California!

Be a part of SciStarter’s hackfest at CitSci 2015 in San Jose, California!

What: A hands-on and discussion-driven meet-up where everyone participates in dreaming up AND building creative tools to improve the field of citizen science!

Where: Citizen Science 2015 Conference, San Jose, CA Read More


What is killing California’s trees, and what can you do about it?

By Guest | January 14, 2015 3:56 pm
California Oak (Photo Credit: Michael Warwick/Shutterstock)

California Oak (Photo Credit: Michael Warwick/Shutterstock)

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ariel Simons and originally appeared on the author’s blog. Project SCARAB is one of more than 800 great citizen science projects on SciStarter. Use our project finder to find one that you can participate in!

The great thing about living in a major port city such as Los Angeles is having access to ideas and goods from the around the world. However, the port of LA, and by extension every trade conduit branching off from there, takes the chance on cargo containers carrying an invasive species. In 2003 one such species, the polyphagus shothole borer (PSHB), was spotted in Whittier, a suburb of Los Angeles. In the intervening decade it has quickly spread to many of the trees in southern California. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
MORE ABOUT: apps, trees

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

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.

See More

Collapse bottom bar

Login to your Account

E-mail address:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »