Join Hundreds of Schools Around the Country in Contributing Data During CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge Week!

By Carolyn Graybeal September 14th, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Comment

CoCoRaHS rain gauge

Source: CoCoRaHS

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages who measure and report precipitation using rain gauges that anyone can get and install. The data according to CoCoRaHS are used by the National Weather Service, meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities, insurance adjusters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor and recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community. Read more about how CoCoRaHS can be implemented in high school classrooms in SciStarter’s Citizen Science in the Classroom series blog post. CoCoRaHS is one of the citizen science projects showcased in our back to school newsletter. Want to know what the others are? Find out now!

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We’re Going Back to School With Citizen Science!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) September 4th, 2015 at 9:00 am | Comment

Photo: USFWS
It’s back to school time, and our editors have served up seven super citizen science projects to excite your students throughout the school year. Find more classroom projects here!


Check out the SciStarter blog for updates on your favorite projects and look for our Editor’s Weekly Picks for the classroom on the National Science Teachers Association’s website!


Coming soon!  Find the perfect project for your classroom. 400 citizen science projects on SciStarter have been rated, reviewed and aligned to Science and Engineering Practices by the Broward County, FL STEM teachers! Soon, you’ll be able to easily search these peer-to-peer reviewed projects AND add your own reviews and recommendations!

Photo: USFWS
Project Feeder Watch
All you need for this project is a bird feeder, which makes it great project for schools! Participants count birds at their feeders from November through April and report their data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Educational resources are available for classrooms and homeschoolers.

Get Started!

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network collects precipitation data from across the United States and Canada, and it’s a great way to get students involved in science. Lesson plans and project data are available for classroom use.

Get Started!

Photo: Stroud Water Research Center
Leaf Pack Network
With Leaf Pack, citizen scientists learn about the health of their local streams. Participants can engage in the full process of science, including forming a hypothesis, designing and experiment, and sharing their results. The project offers teacher workshops, curriculum support, and student programs.
Get Started!

Photo: NASA
Solar Storm Watch
You can help scientists find and track explosions on the sun’s surface. Solar Storm Watch provides lesson plans and teacher support for middle and high school grades (KS3 and KS4), and it great for both classrooms and families.
Get Started!

Photo: Royal Society of Chemistry
Measuring the Vitamin C in Food
Students from across the globe can participate in this simple, informative project. With iodine, a vitamin C tablet, and a few basic kitchen items, students can determine how much vitamin C is in their food. Data from all participants are available online for comparison.
Get Started!

Photo: Royal Society of Chemistry
Art of Crystallization
This global experiment is trying to determine the best conditions for growing crystals. With affordable materials like sugar and bath salts, the project is a terrific way for all students to become involved in science and compare their results with others.

Photo: Royal Society of Chemistry
Water- A Global Experiment with Hydrogels
Hydrogels are manufactured polymers found in many products. In this project, students investigate what effect hydrogels have on the water cycle. Instructions, data, and teacher resources are available.
Don’t miss the Back to School #CitSciChat on Twitter with @CoopSciScoop on Wednesday, September 9th at 3:30pm ET.
Contact the SciStarter Team


Categories: Citizen Science

The Search for Zombie Crabs: The 2015 Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project

By Guest September 2nd, 2015 at 6:00 am | Comment

This is a guest post by Monaca Noble, a biologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Marina Invasions Laboratory. For the last 10 years, Ms. Noble has worked on issues related to the transport of marine species in ballast water and the introduced parasite Loxothylacus panopaei.
Some young volunteers help measure fish and eels. Photo by Monaca Noble.

Some young volunteers help measure fish and eels. Photo by Monaca Noble.

This June, 49 enthusiastic volunteers came out to search for zombie crabs in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Together they searched through shells from 52 crab collectors distributed throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries. Volunteers found thousands of White-fingered Mud Crabs (Rhithropanopeus harrisii), hundreds of fish (Naked Gobies, American Eels, and others), and several parasitized zombie crabs at our site on Broomes Island, MD.

What are zombie crabs? Zombie crabs are mud crabs that have been parasitized with the introduced parasitic barnacle, Loxothylacus panopaei (Loxo for short). Loxo is a parasite native to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of Florida. It parasitizes at least nine species of mud crabs (xanthid crabs) throughout this range. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your Personality Affect Your Dog? Here’s How You Can Find Out

By Editorial Team August 31st, 2015 at 6:25 am | Comment

animal-dog-pet-cuteResearchers are trying to find out how your personality affects your dog’s behavior. Learn how you can participate in the largest citizen science project of its kind.

by Kristin Butler

When I adopted my dog Kia from a puppy rescue center three years ago, I became a member of a growing sub-culture of people who focus their time, money, and love on their dogs.

Once valued for their ability to perform work, dogs are now more often considered to be a part of the family. This trend is evidenced by an increasing number of pet friendly hotels, restaurants, and workplaces in our communities; by brain imaging research that indicates we love our dogs like we love our kids; and by economic statistics that show we are spending more money than ever on our four-legged friends. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Coop’s Scoop: Citizen science to study your dog, because your dog studies you

By Caren Cooper August 25th, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Comment

by tlparadis

by tlparadis

Thank you, Lassie for saving my life! And thank you Rover, Spot, Fido, Benji, and Snoopy. We can all shout this refrain, not just those pulled from a burning building or comforted by slobbery kisses. Dogs may have saved the entire human race. Not recently, but back when our species was just starting out on the journey to dominate the Earth.

Neanderthals were in Europe and Asia for two hundred thousand years, but began their demise as our people, Homo sapiens, expanded beyond Africa. Like Neanderthals, humans hunted, used tools, were pyrotechnic, and social enough to have cliques. Some researchers suspect that humans had one advantage that Neanderthals lacked: the precursor to (hu-)man’s best friend, the domesticated dog. Less wild than wolves, more wild than today’s collie, early humans likely survived an epoch of environmental change with the help of furry friends that were eventually domesticated as dogs. Read the rest of this entry »