6 Ways to Be a Citizen Scientist From the Comfort of Your Couch

Take a break from online shopping and sharpen that brain by contributing a few minutes to science. Below, our editors present six projects in need of your help.
(And really, you know you’re going to abandon that online shopping cart, anyway!)


Visit the SciStarter Project Finder for 1100 more opportunities and join our community to learn more about new projects near you!


Some people seem to age faster than others. You can add to our knowledge of aging by guessing how old people are, based on their photos, or uploading your own images to be put to the test.
Get Started!


Photo: tiltfactor.org
Purposeful Gaming
To preserve important historical texts, documents are scanned and then made available to you for online transcription. This project uses gaming to make the task fun and to establish consensus transcriptions.



Photo: NEON
Season Spotter
Classify online images from cameras placed across North America. Examine the photos for the presence of phenology cues like blooming flowers, changing leaves and other life-cycle changes to help track seasonal change over time.


Photo: Citizen Sort
Citizen Sort
Step into the role of an online adventurer exploring an island where you will help identify plants and animals for a real research project!



Photo: NOVA
NOVA Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a huge deal these days, and this program will teach you to protect your identity and prevent cyber attacks. It’s great for both kids and adults and offers resources for educators.
Get Started!



Photo: Volunteer Science
Volunteer Science
Play alone or be matched with people from around the world as you interact with 2-5 minute-long online games. In the process, you’ll advance research about decision-making, personality traits and more.


Categories: Biology, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology, Newsletter


About the Author

Arvind Suresh

Arvind Suresh

Arvind Suresh is science communicator and a former laboratory biologist, he has a Master’s degree in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. He enjoys reading, teaching, talking and writing science. Connect with him on Twitter @suresh_arvind.