Back to School

This post was originally published as a SciStarter newsletter. Sign up to receive bi-weekly citizen science in your inbox!

SciStarter supports educators, learners, parents, administrators, guardians and all stakeholders in sharing authentic science experiences in a variety of learning environments.

We’ve created a curated Education Page featuring the projects highlighted below and much more!

These projects offer real-world science engagement for face-to-face, outdoor, online, remote, blended and in-home learning settings. You’ll find helpful “getting started” videos, classroom connections, printable data sheets and other free resources.

The great outdoors serve as an unbounded learning environment for authentic student exploration of natural phenomena.

Squirrel! Okay, now that we have your attention, you’re invited to “go nuts” and count the number and type of squirrels that you see near you (for science!) with Project Squirrel.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Measure rain, hail, sleet and snow and help investigate extreme weather events with CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.

Location: U.S., Canada and the Bahamas

Get Started!

Image Credit: Human Computation Institute

Modern technology is a dynamic tool for science and for learning. Mobile devices serve as sensors that facilitate the reporting of environmental data, and many of today’s citizen science projects have been designed to be conducted solely online.

Game for good and accelerate Alzheimer’s research with Stall Catchers.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Be a wildlife biologist and analyze cam trap data to help study wildlife in action with Instant Wild.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Join a global community of naturalists collectively working to document life on Earth with iNaturalist. For younger learners, Seek by iNaturalist invites participants to engage in this month’s August Pollinator Challenge!

Capture wildlife (with your camera!) and join QuestaGame‘s exciting Global Schools BioQuest special event.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Lots of citizen science projects can be done at home. Explore the following projects and turn your home into a productive science lab!

Report the type(s) of water pipes found in your home as part of a groundbreaking national inventory with Crowd the Tap.

Location: United States

Get Started!

Wild Sourdough
Image Credit: Wild Sourdough Project

Cook up a plan to turn your kitchen into a science lab with Sourdough for Science.

Location: Global

Get Started!

August is National Water Quality Month. Try water quality projects such as the Earth Echo Water Challenge. 

Create customized lists of projects for your classes. Lists include on-demand data analytics to show you engagement levels.

Check out Earth School, an initiative from TED-Education, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other partners including SciStarter and National Geographic, to support students from home.

Join online citizen science events including trainings, Zoom parties and more.

Find Girl Scout-friendly citizen science projects.

Skim 200+ project ideas for college and university learners. 

View Citizen Science “How To” Videos.

Get Started!

The new summer series “Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science,” presented by the Network of the National Library of Medicine and SciStarter in partnership with public libraries, helps keep students, adults, and families engaged with reading and research to prevent “summer slide” learning loss. All events are online and open to all. RSVP for online events throughout August and part of September.

Get Started!

SciStarter has partnered with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University to bring citizen science to 50 and older communities with an online event series. You’re invited!

In each event, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start contributing to real and important scientific research. These projects are fun by yourself, with a partner, or even as a way to connect family as you do projects together (while being physically apart). Invite friends, family, and loved ones (open to all!) to register here: 

Get Started!

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!

New on the Blogs

New (Beta) Feature from SciStarter: “Lists” Makes it Easy to Organize, Share and Track Engagement in Citizen Science Projects, via the SciStarter Blog

Are Clogged Blood Vessels the Key to Treating Alzheimer’s Disease? via Discover Magazine

Surfers are Picking Up the Slack to Monitor Water, via Science Connected

Categories: Education, Newsletter


About the Author

Jill Nugent

Jill Nugent works in higher education where she teaches and serves as an administrator in online STEM programs. Her undergraduate degree is from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree is in biological sciences where she studied animal behavior and conservation biology. She holds teacher certification in science and life science/biology and is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University where she is investigating locally engaged, globally connected citizen science. Jill authors a 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”. Outside of teaching, writing, and engaging in citizen science projects, Jill enjoys volunteering with ManeGait, a therapeutic riding equestrian center in North Texas. You can connect with Jill on Twitter @ntxscied.