Children are natural born scientists. Their innate curiosity makes them wonderful candidates for citizen science projects. Discover fun ways to get kids involved in citizen science. It’s a great family activity! You’ll also love these simple science projects for kids.
Raising Kids Who Are Citizen Scientists
Kids will explore the world around them no matter what you do. Add in a little citizen science, and they will learn that all of this exploring can make the world a better place!
How Can I Find Citizen Science Projects for Kids?
Thanks to the internet, your children can join citizen science projects no matter where they live! We just finished The Great Backyard Bird Count, which my children have enjoyed participating in for years, but there are plenty of ongoing projects to join! Here are a few that your kids might enjoy:
Look for Local Projects
As amazing as the online opportunities are, they are no match for face to face connections. Be sure to check with your local museums, libraries, and universities to see if there are any local citizen scientist projects your children can join.
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Don’t Be Afraid to Create Your Own Science Project
Struggling to find a citizen science project to join? Why not create your own science observation activity? My kids and I loved photographing the emergence of leaves on our Japanese Maple one spring back when we lived in Massachusetts. It wasn’t part of a formal experiment and I don’t think it included data scientists needed at that point in time, and that’s okay! The process of observing and photographing the tree still helped my kids and I enjoy our world and the beauty all around us, while also honing our observation skills.
Citizen Science Storybook Science
I wrote this post as part of the Inspiration Laboratories Storybook Science series. This is a very fun series that runs every year, and I always enjoy being part of it!
I picked The Bluest of Blues for my book for this series. Photographer and botanist Anna Atkins began collecting scientific data and specimens as a child. She was a citizen scientist before the term existed!
Atkins grew up to publish the book Photographs of British Algæ: Cyanotype Impressions. Besides portraying botanic specimens, Atkins’ book is considered the first book illustrated with photographic images. Some say she was the first woman to create a photograph.
What are your favorite citizen science projects – for kids or adults?
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