8 Fantastic Sites and Apps for Citizen Science

April 04, 2014
Ellen Holderman
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES Tools, Technology Integration

For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we are featuring sites and apps for citizen science. Students can make thousands of fascinating observations just by roaming around in nature or doing experiments with everyday items. These splendid sites seed ideas for fun, safe experiments and encourage students to try them.

To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top-Picks List, Sites and Apps for Citizen Science.


Sid's Science Fair
Sid's Science Fair is an excellent and experiential science-and-math learning app that can interest kids in science through three, fair-based activities. As Sid and his friends explain their exhibits and invite kids to play with the contents and concepts, kids can learn about classifying objects by color, size, and more. Read full review.

Discover Science
The Discover Science site brings the resources and experience of San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences museum into the classroom. Visitors can access multimedia collections, lectures, and Academy research. Read full review.

Journey North
Journey North is a free website that helps kids record and share observations about seasonal change. These observations vary from the length of a day to a flower blooming or the presence of a butterfly. Resources are available to help kids figure out their longitude and latitude so they can include it with their observations. Read full review.

Project Squirrel
Kids observe squirrels to help them understand the Chicago-area ecosystem, along with ecologies in other parts of the United States. Students collect and report data about the location and number of gray and fox squirrels. Project Squirrel also provides directions for how to set up feeding stations at your home or school. Read full review.

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island
Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island's interactive gameplay and real-world examples provide in-depth learning. This mix of animations, video game-like elements, songs, and brief audio and visual lessons help kids learn what can hurt the environment and how they can help it. Read full review.

Project Noah
Project Noah is a crowdsourced online database of plants and animals that lets kids become citizen scientists. Kids use the camera on their mobile device to capture images of their local ecosystems, then share them through the app or by uploading them to the Project Noah website. Read full review.

Bill Nye The Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy is an interactive, multifaceted science app that will most certainly get students excited about science. This app covers a wide range of science topics -- engineering, astronomy, chemistry, biology, electricity, energy, substance properties, and more. Read full review.

iNaturalist is a social networking tool very similar to Project Noah that allows nature lovers to post observations and pictures of living things. Everyone has a profile, and users can follow others to see what photos they post. It's also possible to browse posts by species or location. Read full review.


What apps, games, and sites do you use to teach kids about the world around them? Sign in to comment below.