Citizen Science Kits: A New Way to Learn, Discover and Contribute at Your Local Library

SciStarter and Arizona State University partner with a growing number of libraries across the country to offer free kits you can check out. Kits contain local field guides, intergenerational activities, and easy-to-use tools so you can participate in science that needs your help.

Click here to see if your local library offers the kits. If you don’t see your library listed on the map, share this link with your library so they can easily build and circulate the kits and find other free programming and training resources.

Below, we highlight five projects you can do with or without a kit.

The SciStarter Team

Light pollution is intrusive artificial light that can have negative consequences for life on Earth. Learn about and monitor light pollution with project Globe at Night to help preserve our night sky!

The View the Night Sky library kit contains a sky quality meter, planisphere and more tools to help you collect data to share with scientists monitoring light pollution.

Get Started!

Pollinators are in peril! Identify and count pollinators near you with The Great Sunflower Project.

The Observe Pollinators library kit includes binoculars and a stopwatch to better observe pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and more. Use anywhere plants are flowering to observe animals as they assist plants in their reproductive cycles.

Get Started!

Mosquito-borne diseases can be extremely dangerous. You can help by identifying and reporting potential mosquito breeding habitats with GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper.

The Mapping Mosquito Habitat library kit includes a magnification tool to observe larvae and sample collection tools.

Get Started!

Create a living record of plant and animal species (biodiversity) near you by uploading photo observations to iNaturalist. Not sure what organism you’re looking at? No problem. An online community of millions of nature enthusiasts and scientists, sometimes with the help of image recognition software, will help provide identifications.

The Exploring Biodiversity library kit contains lenses, a tripod and other resources to help you get up close and personal to make better observations to share with scientists on iNaturalist.

Get Started!

Eclipse Viewing Library Kit
Did you know? There will be two solar eclipses in North America within the next six months!

Whether you’re in the viewing path or not, you can help scientists understand what happens in the world around you before, during and after the eclipse.

View citizen science projects you can do to help uncover what happens in the world when the sun goes dark!

Get Started!

Upcoming SciStarter LIVE! events:

Jun 6: How your nature photographs are evidence of a changing world (feat. Save the Waves App). Headed to the beach? Researchers want your photos. Join us as we learn how to shoot and upload photos of plastic pollution, impaired water quality, loss of coastal access and sea-level rise to the Save the Waves App, and the impact your observations have on protecting coastal ecosystems. Register.

Jun 13: How to become a SciStarter Ambassador at your local library. We want YOU to become a SciStarter Ambassador at your local library! Tune in to learn what this library program is all about and how ambassadors can make a difference bringing citizen science to their local community. Register.

Jun 20: Photography 101: Here’s how to take great photos with your phone that can be used for science. Many citizen science projects involve snapping photos to provide scientists with valuable data. But what makes a good photo? We’ll walk through tips for taking awesome photos that can be used for identifying organisms and more in projects like iNaturalist and during BioBlitz events like the City Nature Challenge. Register.

In case you missed it: Last week, Magdalena Sorger, entomologist and ant-lover, taught us about Ant Picnic, and how you can create a picnic for ants to help scientists discover food preferences of these mighty little insects. Watch the recording.

Citizen Science Podcast

Life-Changing Citizen Science

With any pursuit, there are casual dabblers and there are hardcore enthusiasts, and citizen science is no different. In this episode, we’ll meet some serious CitSci volunteers, some of whom have gone on to pursue full-time careers in science.

Listen now!

The latest blogs:

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: Animals, Apps, Astronomy & Space, Biology, Citizen Science, libraries, Library, Tools

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!