Citizen Science Month Education Webinar Series

Educators, parents, and lifelong learners joined Jill Nugent and the SciStarter team each Thursday at 8:00 PM ET during April’s Citizen Science Month for a five-part education webinar series.

These webinars focused on sharing citizen science projects that are a great fit for the science learning environment, with an emphasis on projects that our distributed and remote learners can engage in, at home, in the backyard, or online.

About Jill Nugent

Jill works in higher education where she teaches science courses and serves as an administrator in online STEM programs. She authors SciStarter’s 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.” She is also a founding member of Team Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) in the annual City Nature Challenge and contributes to SciStarter’s social media and education initiatives

Resources on This Page

This page contains webinar recordings and links that Jill compiled for the various webinars.

Webinar One: Signs of Spring

Citizen science refers to public participation in authentic scientific research. It’s real world science for all! 

One of the most important aspects of the SciStarter mission is to make it simple, accessible, and fun for people of all ages to jump in and get involved in real world science. We aim to serve as a resource for learners and educators in both formal and informal learning environments. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee “Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning” recommend citizen science as an effective way to support science learning and found that citizen science in education may also be an effective strategy to engage underrepresented populations in the process of science. 

When we engage in hands-on, authentic real world science, we make observations, begin to formulate questions, experiment, and ultimately construct deeper understanding about the natural world. Citizen science is an excellent way to address the Science Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

(NGSS Lead States, 2013)    

At SciStarter, we have partnered with the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) to share citizen science projects with the NSTA community of educators. For example, NSTA Journals Science Scope and The Science Teacher feature SciStarter citizen science projects that are excellent fits for the classroom, schoolyard, or beyond! In addition, the NSTA Press publication, Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life, grades 6-12 serves as a resource for educators interested in implementing citizen science in the classroom.  The resource presents citizen science lessons in the 5E instructional model format

SciStarter Links:  


o   Project Finder: 

o   Education Page:

o   Girl Scouts Citizen Science:

o   Citizen Science Projects with Classroom materials:

Signs of Spring Project Links to their SciStarter page + Home page: 

Journey North: 



Nature’s Notebook:

Ant Picnic:

Lost Ladybug Project:

Caterpillars Count:

Bird Citizen Science from Cornell Lab K-12 Education Citizen Science:

  • Project FeederWatch, NestWatch, Celebrate Urban Birds, eBird, & more

Zooniverse Citizen Science (100% online): 

Additional Links:

Webinar Two: Air, Water, Soil, and Sky

Citizen Science video collection: 

SciStarter Links:  


o   Project Finder: 

o   Education Page:

o   Girl Scouts Citizen Science:

o   Citizen Science Tools Database: 

o   Citizen Science Projects with Classroom materials:

Water, Air, Soil, and Sky Project Links to the SciStarter page + Home page: 

Clouds/Sky: NASA Globe Observer (GO) Clouds: 

Precipitation: CoCoRaHS: 

Soil: What’s in your backyard? Drug Discovery from your soil

Sky/Space: Globe at Night: 


Water Projects with Classroom Materials: 



Space/Sky: Aurorasaurus: 

NOVA Labs (100% online):

Zooniverse Citizen Science (100% online): 

Additional Links:

Webinar Three: Backyard Bioblitz


SciStarter Links:  


o   Project Finder: 

o   Education Page:

o   Citizen Science Tools Database: 

o   Girl Scouts Citizen Science:

o   Citizen Science Projects with Classroom materials:

Visual Overview of iNat at a glance:

Backyard BioBlitz:


Seek by iNaturalist:

City Nature Challenge:

City Nature Challenge 2020 Guide, Exploring Nature:

 Exploring Nature In and Around Your Home for the City Nature Challenge


– What can people find in their houses? What can they see through their windows?

– Focus on identifications! Can your city go through ALL the observations (not just CNC!) that have already been made in your area but aren’t research grade yet?

– During April 28 – May 3, hold virtual ID parties!

In Backyards:

– Encourage people to put up moth lights or put down cover boards at their houses to help bring nature to them! Here’s a How to go mothing resource from SciFri: 

– What are the wild plants growing in your backyard?

– What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?

Outside of your home and backyard (if allowed):

– Practice social distancing wherever you go.

– Promote people going outside and making observations on their own/with a small group of their family & friends, instead of joining big events.

– Think about making observations along sidewalks, pavements, roads, or in residential areas if local parks are too crowded for social distancing. Always be mindful of traffic.

Nat Geo/ Nat Geo Ed Resources: 

Video Resources:

Additional Links:

Webinar Four: Earth Day and Arbor Day Citizen Science


SciStarter Links:  


o   Project Finder: 

o   Education Page:

o   Citizen Science Tools Database: 

o   Girl Scouts Citizen Science:

o   Citizen Science Projects with Classroom materials:

Helpful Links:

Earth Day SciStarter Blogs: 

Earth Challenge 2020: 

City Nature Challenge: 

Debris Tracker:

Arbor Day: 

NASA GO Trees:

Earth School: Quests from Earth Day (4/22) to World Environment Day (6/5): 

UN Global Goals, Citizen Science, and Earth Day:

Citizen science is an excellent fit with Earth Day, as many citizen science projects involve building awareness of environmental issues, provide opportunities for active participation in science, taking action, and making a difference in the world in which we live! 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”)– depicted above, are often collectively referred to as the “global goals“-

The SDGs involve goals to transform our planet; goals are set to attain by the year 2030- and as you can see- nearly half of the goals relate to science! 

Video overview of the Global Goals: 

Global Goals including SDG #’s 6 (Water), 7 (Energy), 11 (Sustainability), 13 (Climate), 14 (Life Below Water), and 15 (Life on Land) are some of the examples of Global Goals which directly relate to science! And in fact, the City Nature Challenge global bioblitz addresses three of the global goals- 2 science related global goals (SDG 14 and 15) as well as global goal 17, partnerships for the goals. 

Engaging in citizen science projects that address environmental science related global goals/SDGs makes for an excellent and meaningful way to participate in Earth Day! And, Earth Day 2020’s main theme is citizen science to take action on the global goals 

Let’s take a look at ideas/examples (below) to get involved in citizen science, Earth Day, and a few of the science SDG’s this week! 

SDG 6 Water 

Overview of global goal 6: 

Example citizen science projects related to SDG 6 and Earth Day:

SDG 14 Life Below Water 

Overview of global goal 14: 

Example citizen science projects related to SDG 14 and Earth Day:

SDG 15 Life on Land 

Overview of global goal 15: 

Example citizen science projects related to SDG 15 and Earth Day:

SDG Academy:

World’s Largest Lesson (education resources for the global goals): 

Additional Links:

Webinar Five: Citizen Science, Learning, and Resources from National Geographic Education

This webinar, with special guests from National Geographic Education, walked folks through three different citizen science projects. Explore those projects and a citizen science tutorial via


Categories: Citizen Science Month, EarthSchool, Education, Events

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About the Author

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson is an advisor at SciStarter, where she assists with the Citizen Science Month Program, SciStarter’s Corporate Volunteer Programs and other programmatic and outreach efforts. Caroline is a Master of Public Policy graduate from American University, where she was a Reilly Environmental Policy Scholar, and is a current PhD student at the University of Florida. She also works with the UF-VA Bioethics Unit, the Christensen Project, Florida Community Innovation and other organizations. She was the 2019 Cherry Blossom Princess representing the state of Florida and the grand prize scholarship winner at Miss Earth USA 2021 as Miss Louisiana Earth.