Stuck inside? There’s a citizen science project for that!


Even if cold, cloudy weather has you avoiding the outdoors, that doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to boredom (or Netflix). Hundreds of citizen science projects, advancing research on everything from ancient Egypt to nesting birds, are designed to be done right from home. Here are some to get you started.

The SciStarter Team

Image credit: Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Get a first-hand glimpse into the daily lives of citizens of ancient Egypt. By helping to classify and transcribe online images of scrolls from storerooms, or Geniza, you’ll be advancing research into Egyptian society and culture.

Location: Online

Get Started!

Image credit: Project Sidewalk

Sidewalks around the country can be inaccessible to people with disabilities, whether that’s because of poor design or disrepair. Fixing sidewalks, and allowing everyone access to city streets, starts with cataloging where accessibility issues can be found. Do your part to find them by browsing images online and tagging access issues you spot.

This is our featured project for MLK JR Day of Service. Here’s a recorded interview with the project scientist. Learn how to get involved and ask the scientist anything you want when he joins us for our next SciStarter LIVE event on Zoom (Tuesday Jan. 10 at 2pm ET.) Registration is free, required and now open: Register here.

Location: Online

Get Started!

Image credit: SciQuest

SciQuest is focused on better understanding the people who participate in citizen science, AKA you!

Take quizzes that ask about your citizen science experience and your perspective on different issues. Researchers use your survey responses to build a better picture of who citizen scientists are. You might just learn something about yourself along the way!

Location: Online

Get Started!

Image credit: Living with Machines

How did the introduction of machines during the Industrial Revolution change the lives of ordinary people in the 19th century?

Look through pages of newspapers, maps and books online to find records of when, where and how machines were involved in accidents. Your contributions add data to the historical research project while training machine learning algorithms to better search and classify images in the future.

Location: Online

Get Started!

Image credit: ©August Davidson-Onsgard/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab

Tree swallows are in serious decline and understanding their nesting patterns is one key to helping to bring these charismatic birds back.

Swoop in and help discover the historical nesting patterns of these acrobatic aerialists by transcribing information on photos of hand-written nest records.

Location: Online

Get Started!

Join us online Tuesdays at 2pm ET for SciStarter LIVE!

January 10 – Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by using your day off to help your community (featuring Project Sidewalk)

In honor of the upcoming MLK Day of Service, join SciStarter and special guests from Project Sidewalk as we virtually explore cities while mapping accessibility features like curb ramps and problems like obstacles. Did you know that SciStarter shares its database of projects with the Points of Light Foundation, AmeriCorps and Register for the January 10 event here.

January 17 – SQUIRREL! Learn Why You Should Report Squirrels You Spot — for Science! (featuring Project Squirrel and SquirrelMapper)

In preparation for National Squirrel Day (yup, there’s such a thing!), scamper on over to our Zoom room to learn all about different types of squirrels, how they’ve evolved to adapt to urban environments, and how to help scientists learn more about changes in their population and behaviors. Register for the January 17th event here.

January 24 – Play in the Snow for Science by Reporting Snow Depth (featuring Community Snow Observations and IceWatch USA)

We’ve got two different ways for you to contribute to scientific research next time you’re out in the snow. We’ll meet Katreen Wikstrom Jones, Cryosphere Hazards Scientist for the State of Alaska, who will tell us how winter mountain hikers can measure snow depth for Community Snow Observations. And a project leader from IceWatch USA will tell us how you can monitor a body of water near you, reporting when it’s frozen, to help researchers monitor climate change. Register for the January 24th event here.

Are you interested in learning more about citizen science and related resources at your library? Do you want to participate in a citizen science project? Our Library Kits are for you! Find the library with kits nearest you on our Library Locations page.

Are you a library staff member interested in bringing citizen science to your library? Are you looking for resources to turn your library into a community hub for citizen, community and civic science? Check out our Library Resources page to learn more.

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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: Archeology, Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology, Featured Projects

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!