Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about your experience on SciStarter, or your citizen science project, you have come to the right place! It’s likely you will find the answer to your question in one of the resources below. If not, please email and we will reply to your email as soon as we are able to.

I have a question about my Girl Scouts’ Volunteer Toolkit.  Where do I go for help?
Please contact your local Girl Scout Council representative.

What materials should I review before getting started?
Here are three resources to help you feel confident as you guide your troop along this Journey:

  1.  Powerpoint:  general overview of the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey, start to finish. Here, you will answers to questions, including: What will the girls learn on this Journey? What is the Volunteer Toolkit?  How does this Journey change for each Scouting level? How do we get to SciStarter from the Volunteer Toolkit?  
  2.  Powerpoint: Step-by-Step guide to implementing the Journey through SciStarter . Here, you’ll find answers to questions, including: What do the girls do on this Journey on SciStarter? What does a leader do on this Journey on SciStarter? How do we pick a project on SciStarter that works in our setting?   How do we change the structure so that we complete the Journey in a day or in a weekend?  What kinds of free SciStarter accounts do we need and where do we get started?
  3. Video: Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey, training video 

Can a Juliette Girl Scout participate?
If you are a Juliette Girl Scout, please request the meeting materials to complete the Think Like a Citizen Scientist from your local Council. Once you have the meeting materials in hand, you are on your way to completing the Journey with SciStarter at this page:

Is there a specific link for Troop Leaders to use in order to start the free SciStarter account?
YES! For a Girl Scout volunteer/leader who is leading the journey, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you click the link located in the Volunteer Toolkit to navigate to SciStarter and set up your user account. If you are unable to access the VTK online, ask your Council staff for the PDF version of the Journey materials. We have also posted the link here to make it easy:

Is there a specific link for Girl Scouts to use in order to start their free SciStarter account?
YES! However, the unique link will be generated with your Troop Leader SciStarter account so that all the girl scouts you invite will be linked to you and to your troop’s citizen science project. This link is created as soon as you and your troop select a citizen science project on SciStarter. You will receive the code by email for each project your troop does AND you will always be able to access the code in your Girl Scouts Management Tab on your SciStarter dashboard. Remember the codes are unique to each troop and each project your troop chooses to do on this Journey.  Girl Scouts should only sign up for their free SciStarter accounts using the unique code.

What is Citizen Science?
Citizen Science is a way for everyday people to participate in science in need of their help. Together, through citizen science, millions of people help scientists advance research.    Typically, this collaboration involves volunteers who follow guidelines (or “protocols”) to collect data, share observations, or analyze data scientists and others use to answer questions about the world. Many citizen science projects take place outside in nature where participants measure rainfall to help scientists at the National Weather Service make more accurate forecasts, or track the population and path of monarch butterflies by tagging and releasing them, or ground-truth NASA satellite data by measuring soil moisture levels or simply share pictures of clouds to compare with satellite images. 

What is SciStarter?
SciStarter connects people to real science they can do through the world’s largest, searchable citizen science database. This is where people discover, join, and track their contributions to science projects that advance real scientific research! Here, you will learn how to help scientists collect data and how to share that data. 
SciStarter is also a research platform for Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, Cornell University and more. Support comes from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and several private foundations. Learn more about our team, mission, and collaborators (including PBS’s SciGirls, Discover Magazine, the National Science Teachers Association, NASA and more!).

The Girl Scouts of USA and SciStarter joined forces to create the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey. You will navigate through your Girl Scout Volunteer Tool Kit to a secure online portal hosted by SciStarter where you will be oriented and guided through your Journey. SciStarter created a customized experience just for you and your Girl Scouts!  We hope you like it.

How exactly does this work?
Girl Scouts USA and SciStarter worked together to create this interactive journey where girls participate in real science! Girl Scouts collect and share data that is used by scientists in their research to answer important questions.

Troop leaders guide the Girl Scouts on this journey. A small, curated list of projects await you on your SciStarter Journey Dashboard. After you and your troop select one of the projects, you will enter data, together, online.  After the first citizen science project is completed as a troop, they can move on to Take Action and document their Take Action projects on SciStarter, too. Then, all girls will be free to discover, find, and participate in all types of citizen science projects with their families. They will continue to earn credit for their citizen science participation for years to come. 

How does the data entry work?
Troop leaders will guide their Girl Scouts through collecting data the first time. Each girl may individually collect data, or the group my create one data set together.  Data is entered on the Girl Scout Management Tab using the leader's account.  After data has been entered the first time, you will be given the option to enter data again immediately.  Alternatively, you can return to the project on your SciStarter dashboard to enter additional data for the same project. If your troop enters data for a project that is not on SciStarter (e.g. iSeeChange, GLOBE projects, Nature's Notebook) it is important to return to the SciStarter Girl Scout Management tab to indicate that data has been collected to complete the Journey. 

Can Girl Scouts' family participate too?
Once the Troop Leader marks the Journey complete for your Girl Scout, your family is invited to continue to collect and share more data with the community of scientists any time using the same, individual Girl Scout SciStarter account.  There are over 1300 projects and events available on SciStarter. We encourage you to complete your profile here:  so SciStarter can match you to the right projects in need of help near you and aligned with your interests.  In the future, if you leave the Girl Scouts, you can uncheck the “Girl Scouts” box in your SciStarter account settings and/or to unlock the privacy restrictions described below. Remember: it's important to create your account using the special, unique link your Troop Leader will share with you.

Will SciStarter sell my email and contact information? No way!

Who will be able to view my Girl Scout account?
All SciStarter Girl Scout profiles are marked as private and anonymous meaning no one outside of your Troop Leader can see your profile on SciStarter. This is true until or unless the Girl Scouts indicate that they are no longer affiliated with the Girl Scouts, or explicitly identify themselves as being 13 or older in their SciStarter account settings -> birthday field.

How is my information protected?
Your information is encrypted before it is stored on SciStarter. We only store information we might need to use again like your name, email, and username. You can read the SciStarter Privacy Policy also. 

Can more than one person sign up using one email address?
Yes, but you must have a different username and password for each account in order to have your awesome contributions to projects credited to the right accounts. 

I can’t remember my password and username. Now what?
You can use this form to reset your password: