How to Make the Most of SciStarter (As a Citizen Scientist, Project Leader or Educator)

SciStarter is more than just a place for you to find or share opportunities to turn curiosity into impact. Whether you’re a volunteer looking for new projects to try out, the leader of a project seeking participants or a facilitator who wants to introduce citizen science to your community, we’ve got you covered!

For Citizen Scientists

SciStarter connects you to thousands of projects in need of your help. Through simple but important activities you can do from practically anywhere, you can join others and crowdsource water quality data, measure light pollution near you, assist research about Alzheimer’s disease, use data to prepare for species migrations and so much more. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, NASA, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Moore Foundation and others, SciStarter is free and open to all!

Create a free account to track your participation and receive personalized project and event recommendations based on your preferences.

Watch this short video to learn more:

If you’re looking for new projects to try, you’re going to love the Project Finder, which lets you quickly search across thousands of citizen science projects and filter by type of project, location, activity and more. Or start with our Affiliate projects, which have been specially vetted by the SciStarter team and use special digital connections to help you track your participation in your SciStarter dashboard.

There are many other ways to participate in the SciStarter community. If you have a free account,  you can connect directly with the project scientists from their project page on SciStarter, rate/review projects, find others who share your interests, earn badges by completing free, online trainings and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — let us know what you’ve been up to!

What’s that? You’d like to learn more about citizen science before you commit to joining a project? No worries! Start with the Foundations of Citizen Science Training. This self-guided, online tutorial will walk you through the basics and show you examples of how people like you are helping scientists answer questions they can’t answer alone. Simply by making and sharing observations of the world around you, you can help advance important research. Complete the Foundations training and you’ll earn a badge and open access to other free trainings and badges.

As a next step, check out curated pages featuring projects from some of our awesome partners, organized by themes like: 



America’s 250th Anniversary




Girl Scouts

National Geographic


Ben Franklin


And more!

As you find projects that you’re interested in, check out our YouTube playlist featuring short How-To videos from project leaders. Many of our most popular projects are featured.

For Project Leaders

Adding a project to SciStarter is one of the easiest ways project leaders can boost participation and reach a wider audience.

When you add a project to SciStarter, you’ll make it available to our tens of thousands of users, who can find it through our Project Finder (Tip: The more information you add to your project page, the easier it will be for interested users to find it!). Projects on SciStarter are also eligible to be promoted through our newsletter, blogs, on social media and more to reach an even wider audience. Project Leaders can also access statistics about engagement to see how many people are taking part in their project. And the SciStarter team of citizen science experts is standing by to help if you have any questions — reach out to us at

If you have an event coming up, add it to SciStarter’s Event Calendar! Our users regularly browse the calendar as they look for new citizen science opportunities, and we promote upcoming events in our newsletters and on social media.

To get even more out of SciStarter, become a SciStarter Affiliate. After approval by the SciStarter team, Affiliates get additional promotion on our site, on the Project Finder and elsewhere. We also promote Affiliates through our partner network that includes Discover magazine, the National Science Teachers Association, PBS, Verizon’s corporate volunteer program, library and museum initiatives, the Girl Scouts of USA’s Think Like a Citizen Science Journey and more!

Volunteers will also see their number of contributions to Affiliate projects tracked in their dashboards, and Project Leaders get access to an expanded range of stats on their projects as well, including how often people view, save, join and participate in your project relative to other projects.

Affiliate project leaders can also access our People Finder, a custom tool that lets you search for users based on their interests, geographic location, what tools they have and what skills they have. It’s a quick way to find users that are perfect for your project.

For Facilitators (librarians, educators, troop leaders, museum professionals and others) 

SciStarter has created a number of free, evaluated resources proven to help you gain confidence in your knowledge of citizen science so you can effectively and efficiently introduce citizen science to your communities and engage learners in topics they care about. 

Start with the Foundations of Citizen Science training and make use of the accompanying Facilitator’s Slides and Speaker’s Notes to introduce citizen science — find those on the left-hand side of our Training page. Facilitators can also get involved with our digital badging program, so users can earn and share evidence of the skills they acquired or practiced through the trainings!  

From embedding the SciStarter Project Finder widget on your website, to facilitating a training, badge, event, or customized, data analytics-rich curated page featuring projects and instructions aligned with your community’s goals, SciStarter offers a breadth of flexible options

The Girl Scouts of America, Broward County (FL) School District, North Carolina State University, Arizona State University, Verizon Corporate Volunteer program, hundreds of libraries and museums across the country partner with SciStarter to support community engagement and lifelong learning through citizen science! 

Find examples of curated pages we’ve co-created with partners featuring projects, resources and more for teachers, Girl Scout Troop Leaders and librarians. They’re a great jumping-off place as you think about ways to get people excited about citizen science.

For librarians, we also have resources to help your library become a community hub for citizen science! Consider building and circulating these awesome, field-tested citizen science  kits that have everything library users need to do specific citizen science projects. Check out our introductory video on the kits here, and find guides for putting your own kits together on our website. If you’ve added kits to your collection, add your library to our database so that citizen scientists can find it more easily! SciStarter also has a special free training module for librarians to learn more about selecting the right citizen science projects for your community, finding resources to facilitate engagement and more.

As always, if you have any questions about citizen science, projects or events, we’re here to help! Just drop us a line at

Categories: About Us, Affiliate Tools