Citizen Science Gift Guide

Image Credit: Anna Larin from Pixabay

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Treat yourself (or someone else you love) to these awesome citizen science instruments.

Do you, your friends or family members engage in gardening, birdwatching, stargazing or other science hobbies? If so, then our annual SciStarter Gift Guide is just what you need to find the ideal gift to take things to the next level of discovery!

The SciStarter Team

The Field Guide to Citizen Science is a popular, accessible (inexpensive!) book that will tell readers everything they always wanted to know about citizen science but were afraid to ask. It’s the gift that helps people give back, contributing their brains to making a difference through science! It’s an easy, fun read with step-by-step instructions for dozens of projects.

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Give someone an air pollution sensor, and they’ll measure air pollution. But teach them how to build their own official CanAirIO air pollution sensor, and they’ll measure air pollution and also become amateur engineers! CanAirIO’s SciStarter page will show you, and them, how to get started.

Location: Global

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There’s nothing more inspiring for that weather bug on your shopping list than an official CoCoRaHS precipitation gauge! Beautiful, durable and accurate, it will make sharing backyard precipitation data with the National Weather Service a pleasure.

Location: North America

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Just like microscope pioneer Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, a lucky person on your gift list could soon be making their own microscope and observing their own frolicking animalcules with this $35 DIY microscope kit! Or maybe they’d prefer chasing rainbows with this $9 spectroscopy kit? Either way, you’ll make the science explorers in your life happy with these kits from Public Labs.

Location: Global

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While we love squirrels, Project Feederwatch (a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders) is a strictly ornithological annual event, and the dress code is “feathers required.” Consider gifting this spring-loaded feeder that closes up when heavy squirrels try to crash the party. And check out Cornell’s Project Feederwatch manual to learn about other types of bird feeders and foods to select the feeder style best-suited to your avian guests.

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What would you pay for a device that measures motion, acceleration, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude and temperature? $500? $5000? A million dollars? Well, for just $148, you can get a Bluetooth-enabled device that does all that, and also comes with its own handy carrying case! It’s just one of several inexpensive monitoring devices offered at PocketLab for the science explorers on your gift list. Use the discount code “SCISTARTER” for $20 off PocketLab sensor products over $98.

Location: Global

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April 2021 is Global Citizen Science Month, presented by SciStarter, the National Library of Medicine, Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association and many other partners.

Project Leaders: Find free resources and support to help plan and promote your project in April!

People everywhere: Check out the event calendar and learn more!

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Attend the next event in the Citizen Science & Libraries series to learn how YOU can help design RNA-based medicines, just by playing a game. Plus, if you’re part of a library staff and/or a community leader, we have a leadership breakout group for you at the end! RSVP to join us at 2 PM ET on December 16.

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Do you want to help shape the future of healthcare in America? Apply for this focus group study on healthcare innovation! The application deadline is December 6, and the events are set for December 12 and 19. Participants who attend both sessions will receive a $150 American Express Gift Card.

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Open to everyone, everywhere! Every Monday at 6 PM ET, SciStarter and the NC State University Citizen Science Campus co-host “Make it Count Monday.” Join us online to learn about citizen science and how you can get involved in projects to advance research in North Carolina…and beyond!

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Citizen Science in NSTA Publications

Learn about counting birds for science and get the scoop on soil microbes in November/December publications by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)!

Featured in Science ScopeCount Birds for Science This Winter with Project Feederwatch & Project Feederwatch on SciStarter

Featured in The Science Teacher: Get the Scoop on Soil Microbes & Citizen Science Soil Collection Program on SciStarter

New on the Blogs

National Academy of Sciences Report is a Guide to Making Citizen Science Work For Everyone, via the SciStarter Blog

Six Citizen Science Projects to Explore Outer Space from Home, via Discover Magazine

Old Family Photos Unlock the History of Atlantic Fisheries, via Science Connected

Explore SciStarter

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!

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About the Author

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon, President, Springtail Media LLC Bob Hirshon heads up Springtail Media, specializing in science media and digital entertainment. He is Principle Investigator for the NSF-supported National Park Science Challenge, an augmented reality adventure that takes place in National Parks. Hirshon headed up the Kinetic City family of science projects, including the Peabody Award winning children’s radio drama Kinetic City Super Crew, McGraw-Hill book series and Codie Award winning website and education program. Hirshon can be heard on XM/Sirius Radio’s Kids Place Live as “Bob the Science Slob,” sharing science news and answering children’s questions.