Get Outside

Outside? Scientists? Data? What do all these have in common? Explore ways to have students DO REAL SCIENCE by participating in Citizen Science opportunities. Learn how to link real-time opportunities for student learning to the environment around you. Live in an urban area - we have the resources for you too! Walk away with multiple tools that you can start using with students on Monday. So what are you waiting for? Get outside the classroom and outside your comfort zone to try science experiences that matter.


Join in... 

There are tons of great projects out there, all they need is you! Get started by joining a project that is well thought out and eager for citizen scientists' input. Have a chance to have students view data sets and get a glimpse of research - even look at completed projects and the findings. It's so important to contribute to the science, and perfect practice to see what goes into a project. 

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  • Wildwatch Kenya: map specific points on photographs of giraffes to help scientists count, identify, and track them. 

  • BashtheBug: viewing data sets of well plates of TB infection samples from around the world and the effectiveness of various antibiotics



  • NOAA Water Levels: Water level reports are submitted and summarized here; map water levels (flooded, normal, and low) regionally. 

  • Great Worldwide Bird Count: An annual worldwide snap shot of where people see birds on the third weekend of February.

*Many gov orgs: NSF, EPA, NOAA, NPS, NIH

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  • Project finder

  • Partner finder

  • Citizen Science Month

  • Blog

  • Podcast

Ready to Run...

There are ready made lessons and ideas to get started on your own. It's a great way to conduct a project with your students, and then contribute your data to the bigger project. There are resources too that guide student data collection. 



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Students discover

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  • Globe Clouds: NASA is interested in the cloud cover where you are. Simply take a photo and answer a few questions about cloud cover, types of clouds, visibility, presence of contrails, and more. You can view and track previous data, as well as your own. 

  • Mosquito Habitat Mapper: Join the MiSTEM project 

*Apps and Web based

GLOBE several programs for Earth Systems

driven to discover



  • Monarch Larva Monitoring: Aid in conserving monarchs and their threatened migratory phenomenon, and advance our understanding of butterfly ecology in general.

  • eBird: Document your bird sightings, track them, and track the birds you've seen. A great way to join the birding community. 


  • Ant Picnic: Study where ants are coming from and what food source attracts them. This helps to identify the types of ants in the area. So set up a picnic and see who comes to join!

  • Sourdough Starter: Measure and consider the microbes growing in the sourdough starter. Track the growth over time and report the data. 

*These all have lessons, PE alignments, and teacher guides. Even find out what's growing in your belly button. 

Cornell lab



  • All things bird! Share observations, track their movements, share when they appear in your region to help with migratory patterns, and so much more. Multiple projects with birds. 

  • eBird: Also in connection with Cornell Ornithology Lab

  • Nest Quest Go! Help track bird nesting success and failure


has projects too

share your own idea... 

Need input from the greater community?!? Have a driving question students are trying to answer? You can put forth an idea and set up your own project to engage other citizen scientists around the world. 

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Submit your own project proposal. Anyone can build a Zooniverse project. Just upload your data and choose the tasks you want the volunteers to do. To find out more, read our How to Build a Project documentation, or click the button below to get started.

All of the ABove... 

Join ... Ready to Run ... Share ... These sites and resources do it all, and then some! Get even more information about Citizen Science. 

  • Start your own project, usually a BioBlitz

  • Join an existing one

  • View data

  • Get answers

  • Bugs + Plants

  • App + Web

  • So much more!

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project list

Michigan ZoomIn

Michigan ZoomIn is a citizen science project hosted by the University of Michigan on Zooniverse with the help the Shapiro Design Lab. The project relies on pictures captured by motion triggered cameras throughout the state of Michigan, which participants then analyze to identify different species for conservation and protection work. The focus of the project is to identify and assess populations of carnivores to ensure environmental stability in Michigan. 

Huron River Watershed Council

"Founded in 1965, the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is southeast Michigan’s oldest environmental organization dedicated to river protection. The Huron River Watershed Council protects and restores the river for healthy and vibrant communities." - Huron River Watershed Council About Page

The Huron River Watershed Council has 12 different active projects, all of which have notations describing how they help the community. 

MSU Online tool for citizen science

Michigan State University faculty and students contribute to a number of citizen science projects by providing software and expertise. Additionally, they provide training and educational resources for students interested in science education. One of their projects includes providing a software called Mental Map to help a Virginian community with water quality, while another focuses on monitoring tree health in Michigan forests. 

Birding for Conservation - Michigan Audubon

"Citizen science is integral to Michigan Audubon’s efforts to provide data that help identify threats to bird populations and habitat. This research data, collected by volunteers, leads to programs and policies designed to protect species and the habitats in which they live." - Michigan Audubon Society.

There are a number of different ongoing projects associated with the Michigan Audubon Society, many of which are long standing. In addition to Michigan specific projects, the Michigan Audubon society contributes to the national Audubon Christmas Count, which is a country wide, annual biodiversity blitz. 

Alliance for the Great Lakes

"The Alliance for the Great Lakes works to protect the Great Lakes for today and tomorrow. We involve tens of thousands of people each year in advocacy, volunteering, education, and research to ensure the lakes are healthy and safe for all." - The Alliance for the Great Lakes About Page. 

The Alliance for the Great Lakes has compiled considerable data about liter in the Great Lakes, which has been used to make policy changes. In addition, the Alliance regularly coordinated liter pick up days and other forms of data collection.  

Kalamazoo Nature Center Citizen Science Projects:

"The Kalamazoo Nature Center [KNC] is a not-for-profit organization located in Kalamazoo, Michigan whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world." -KNC 

The KNC provides a number of classes, summer camps, and educational programs focused on nature and conservation. Their citizen science projects include avian surveys, invasive species monitoring, monarch butterfly monitoring, and river monitoring. 

EPA: analyzing underwater video of the great lakes

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, but conceptualized and run in Michigan, the project asked citizen scientists to evaluate 1000 underwater videos of the Great Lakes. The citizen scientists answers were compared to previously-collected expert analysis to decide on a new work protocol to provide needed information for water resource managers.

Credit to 

Physical Science
Life Science
Earth Science