Scouts can join scientific collaborations in nearly any field of study through an amazing number of citizen science opportunities. Citizen science projects can make for engaging patrol or troop activities, and may even tie into merit badges Scouts are working on individually (they should make their counsellor aware of these opportunities).
SciStarter.com is a great place to begin:
SciStarter will bring together the millions of citizen scientists in the world; the thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations, and companies; and the resources, products, and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy these activities.
We aim to:
- Enable and encourage people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts.
- Inspire greater appreciation and promote a better understanding of science and technology among the general public.
- Create a shared space where scientists can talk with citizens interested in working on or learning about their research projects.
- Satisfy the popular urge to tinker, build, and explore by making it simple and fun for people—singles, parents, grandparents, kids—to jump in and get their hands dirty with science.
The dozens of different participatory activities for hikes listed on SciStarter.com are just a few examples of a staggering number of opportunities for Scouts.
Here are a few other citizen science projects you may find interesting:
- Use the Globe at Night website to help find your constellation in the night sky.
- Use the Globe at Night website to find the latitude and longitude of the location where you are making your observation.
- Go outside more than an hour after sunset (8-10 pm local time). The Moon should not be up. Let your eyes become used to the dark for 10 minutes before your first observation.
- Match your observation to one of 7 magnitude charts and note the amount of cloud cover.
- Report the date, time, location (latitude/longitude), the chart you chose, and the amount of cloud cover at the time of observation. Make more observations from other locations, if possible. Compare your observation to thousands around the world!
World Water Monitoring Challenge
An international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local waterbodies.
1. Register your site. Choose any lake, stream, bay, or other water body where you can safely monitor. Register yourself and your site.
2. Prepare your monitoring equipment. Use your own equipment or purchase an easy-to-use test kit.
3. Monitor your site. Invite others to help you monitor, or do it yourself.
4. Report your data. Submit your data on this site simply by logging in to your account.
Invasive Species Counts
Groups run short-term “campaigns” is to locate and inventory invasive species.
Several long-running programs are well thought out and have great resources for participants
An inquiry-based citizen-science curriculum for middle school kids.
Celebrate Urban Birds!
Promotes conservation in cities through gardening, the arts and observing birds.
A real-time, online checklist program. We count birds!
Great Backyard Bird Count
Help create a continent-wide snapshot of winter bird populations.
Teaches people how to effectively monitor nests & collect breeding data to track the reproductive success of all North American breeding birds.
Embrace the winter. Count feeder birds for science!
A free, social, interactive, citizen science mapping project about habitat creation and low-impact land use