Enlisting input from a network of volunteer citizen scientists expands the reach of a project, sometimes beyond what scientists can imagine. (National Geographic News)
Find ideas on citizen science projects for yourself, your family, or your classroom.
Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources—including a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly citizen science projects!
- What is citizen science?
- Take a look at this video for a great introduction!
- Citizen science projects are programs where volunteers conduct surveys, take measurements, or record observations.
- Read this encyclopedic entry for a more in-depth look at citizen science.
- What are some of the personal tech tools used by citizen scientists?
- Our senses are our most personal pieces of technology, attuned specifically to us! Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell can be very important to record and document when conducting surveys or observations.
- Cameras and video equipment can document observations.
- Tablets, smartphones, and computers can help document observations, collate data, make accurate measurements, map, and share information with other scientists—both citizen and professional.
- Dozens of apps are made just for citizen science! One of our favorites is iNaturalist, “a gathering place for naturalists of all levels of expertise.”
- The Nat Geo News article focused on citizen science efforts to track wild animals. Take a look through this GeoStory on “Tracking Animal Migrations” to see other examples of what scientists have learned. What are some animals in your community that you and other citizen scientists might be able to track or document? (Each link is a citizen science project—or an idea for one!)
NAT GEO EDUCATION’S TOP 5 CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS!
- The Great Nature Project!
- Project BudBurst!
- FrogWatch USA!
- Want more ideas? Check here or here!
Nat Geo: 5 Ways Regular People Are Tracking Wildlife With Personal Tech
Nat Geo: Ideas for Citizen Science Projects
Nat Geo: Get Outside with Citizen Science Projects (video)
Nat Geo: What is citizen science?