SciStarter’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Is Here!

Stumped for ideas for that inquisitive person your life? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a few citizen science-inspired gifts yourself this year?

SciStarter’s 2021 Gift Guide has you covered. We’ve got useful gifts for birdwatchers, skygazers and weather-trackers, and they all tie in with one or more citizen science projects on SciStarter. That means you can put your tools to good use gathering real-world data. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Season’s greetings,
The SciStarter Team

Want to get your friends and family hooked on citizen science? The Field Guide to Citizen Science is an accessible (and inexpensive) introduction that contains tips on getting started, finding projects and gathering data.

Excitingly, the Field Guide was recently translated into the Kyrgyz language and 3,000 copes were distributed to schools and libraries in Kyrgyzstan for free!

Best for: Everyone

Get Started!

This update to the popular AirBeam sensor uses light scatting technology to precisely measure particulate matter pollution in the air. Then, the device sends data via Bluetooth to the AirCasting Android app, which maps the data in real time and sends it to a central crowdsourced database.

Great for projects that ask you to track air quality in your neighborhood!

Best for: Middle school and up

Get Started!

A rain gauge is a simple but powerful tool for keeping tabs on the weather. Put yours to use in citizen science projects like NASA’s GLOBE program and the CoCoRaHS: Rain, Hail, Snow Network. This gauge is made to U.S. Weather Bureau specifications and comes with a mounting bracket.


Best for: All ages

Get Started!

Light pollution blocks the stars from view around the world. To study this modern nuisance, scientists are asking for night sky data from people like you. Gather light pollution data with this free kit, which you can check out at participating libraries. You can also buy your own sky quality meter if you’d like to continue making observations.

For librarians: Find out how you can make your own light pollution kit.

Best for: Middle school and up

Get Started!

Anyone with a bird feeder knows how persistent hungry squirrels can be. Keep your bird feed safe with this specially-designed feeder, perfect for Project Feederwatch — and bird lovers everywhere!

Best for: All ages

Get Started!

Read About Citizen Science With the NSTA

The National Science Teaching Association promotes citizen science every month in its publications. Recent highlights include:

Science Scope: Help take the pulse of our planet with Nature’s Notebook from the USA National Phenology Network!

The Science Teacher: Make a difference through community engaged science with the Soil Testing USA Project from Citizen Science Community Resources, Inc.

For additional project inspiration and ideas for the classroom from the NSTA, visit the SciStarter Education Page.

Events and Opportunities:

Professional Development for Libraries, Part Two: A Deeper Dive into Citizen Science Kits

January 26, 2022

In the second part of our library series, we’ll dig in to the nitty gritty of citizen science kits. RSVP for the free webinar on how to take your community science engagement to the next level!

Make your library a community hub for citizen science!

Professional Development for Libraries, Part Three: Planning for Citizen Science Month

February 10, 2022

RSVP for a free webinar to explore how libraries can prepare for this year’s Citizen Science Month!

Learn more!

New on the Blogs:

Four Ways (in One App) to Help NASA Study the Changing Planet via the SciStarter Blog

How Citizen Scientists Uncovered the Strange Behavior of ‘Vampire’ Butterflies via the SciStarter Blog

Map the World’s Coral Reefs for NASA with NeMO-Net via the SciStarter Blog

Keep Exploring

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

Categories: Newsletter


About the Author

SciStarter Team

SciStarter Team

SciStarter connects you to thousands of searchable citizen science projects in need of your help. Use the Project Finder ( to find a project to match your location, interests, and age level. Your free SciStarter account will help you earn credit for participating in projects across apps and websites (use the advanced search option at to find Affiliate projects eligible for credit in your dashboard). Together, we can move the world forward!