Citizen Science Projects For Adventurous Kids!
What does it mean to be a Citizen Scientist?
Welcome to the awesome world of citizen science projects for kids! If you or your child have never taken part in a citizen science project before, then your family is in for a satisfying treat.
Ultimately a citizen scientist collects data from their environment and sends it off to be analysed by researchers.
Depending on the nature of the survey, the results can provide data on pollution indicators, the health of our hedgerows and trees, how clean the air we breathe is, and the range of biodiversity thriving in our local environment.
And much more!
Researchers love citizen scientists, as they get to analyse a much wider area than would be possible if they collected all the data alone.
Results are used to decide the best way to conserve our wildlife and planet, as well as make sense of environmental changes.
Your child will have great fun becoming a citizen scientist and will learn so much.
Come rain or shine, getting outside and surveying your local environment will do your child, as well as the local flora and fauna a world of good.
The following skills and qualities are just a few that will be honed, as your child actively connects with their natural environment:
- fine and large motor skills
- awareness of self and surroundings
- problem solving
- positive sensory stimulation
Not to mention the benefits of extra outdoor exercise and play!!
Doctors are now prescribing ‘walking in the woods or other natural area’ as an antidote for anxiety and stress. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.
Where we are it rains frequently, and we’ve discovered the freedom of having picnics in the rain!
We got so fed up packing picnics, only for it to start a downpour as soon as we even thought of going outside!
So, now instead of postponing our trip we just keep going right out the door!
We’ve also had snow picnics. It was definitely cold but with a hot cup of coffee, or hot chocolate from the thermos it seemed like a great adventure.
With a clipboard, pen and magnifying glass (don’t forget the raincoat!) your child will feel and will be an important nature inspector!
I’ve scanned the internet and discovered enough citizen scientist projects to last a few years!
If you can’t make it outside, then unbelievably you can still be a citizen scientist from the comfort of your home or library.
Zooniverse.org is one of our families favourite websites.
On this site, you can create a free account and take part in citizen science projects from around the world.
The site keeps track of the projects you participate in.
So far my son has viewed camera-trap photos and identified wild animals in North Carolina.
As well as helped identify and classify nineteenth century microscope illustrations, and hunted for star clusters in local galaxies!
These are all real research projects, and you can also learn a lot of history and geography.
I think it’s amazing that as homeschoolers (or afterschoolers),our kids can have the planet as their classroom and playground!
Citizen Science Projects for Kids
Huge list of wildlife and environment surveys, and other useful links: UPDATED: 20/08/2019
Globe at Night Citizen Science project looking at light pollution:
Find out how you can apply to help search for interstellar star dust particles!
Take part in the e-bird count with other countries worldwide, on 19th October 2019!
Take part in the bird NestWatch:
A very interesting project! Transcribing historical weather data from ships logs dated from mid-19th century!
Take part in this survey and provide valuable information about the pollinator species in your environment:
Find out about and survey the brownfields where you live:
Go on a New Zealand Flat worm hunt and report your sightings:
Learn about your local trees and complete a survey:
Become a tree doctor with this guide to the 18 diseases and pests that can affect your favourite local trees. Report diseases and pests online:
Every child’s favourite though my child is a bit squeamish as am I! Go on a bug hunt and report your sightings:
Go for a peek in your nearest hedgerow and survey its biodiversity:
Find out how polluted your local pond is by taking part in this survey:
Find out how clean your air is with this air survey:
Get muddy looking for earthworms and checking out the quality of your soil with this soil survey:
This climate survey is no longer active so you can’t upload results. But it’s still worth while as you can download cloud identification guides, learn about how wind is measured, download a field guide and hunt for contrails in the sky:
The Opal metal pollution survey is closed but have a look at the results and find out about metal concentrations in the UK. See how your area fares:
Numerous really useful wildlife identification guides to download:
Creating a new pond can be a fantastic way to give biodiversity in your area a major boost. Take part in the million ponds project and register your pond:
If you’ve not had enough surveying then you’ll be spoilt for choice with this extra huge list of wildlife surveys from Pondnet:
Take part in project plumage, report stranded marine mammals and survey seaweed at The Natural History Museum citizen science page:
Some interesting ideas from the Wildlife Trusts and how your child can take action:
During your surveys you might happen upon a baby bird in distress. This guide gives some handy advice for what to do if you come across a baby bird out of its nest:
The British Trust for Ornithology Garden Bird Watch:
The Big Butterfly Count:
The RSPB garden birdwatch is finished for this year but you can prepare for next year!
Read this and find out the amazing discoveries from the bioblitz citizen scientist survey:
How to set up a campaign for an ancient wood or tree that’s at risk:
Take the ‘Do something great Could you be your neighbourhoods superhero test’:
More project ideas from The National geographic:
Find out how to take part in the Earth Echo International Water Challenge:
Find out about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count:
A catalogue of citizen science projects for US (but some are global projects):
Citizen Science in Australia:
Another interesting website to upload your observations:
A very handy app to use with the inaturalist project:
More citizen science apps:
Find out about what a BioBlitz is and how to organise one in your neighbourhood:
How to Observe and Record Observations:
Find out about how to be like the conservationist Jane Goodall:
Pocket Guide to Field Skills:
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