Plenty of research has found that students tend to become more motivated when their work will be seen by other people in addition to the teacher (see Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience“).
I’ve previously written about these kinds of opportunities for Social Studies students (see The Best Sites Where Students Can Transcribe Historical Texts).
I’ve also published posts about “citizen science” sites, where students can perform scientific research that is “crowdsourced” and can be used by scientists around the world.
But I never put them together in a “Best” list and though it was time to do so, along with adding other citizen science tools that I hadn’t shared before.
Here they are (let me know what I’m missing):
SciStarter provides a database of more than 1500 vetted, searchable projects and events.
Citizen Science Projects is from National Geographic.
Find a project! is from SciGirls on PBS Kids.
From Smithsonian Magazine:
Globe at Night [is] a campaign to raise awareness about the negative effects of light pollution. Use the organization’s online tools to choose a constellation appropriate to your location, and make observations about which stars you can see. These data points will help Globe at Night understand how light pollution is impacting different places across the world.
Smithsonian Magazine has just published SEVENTY-FIVE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROJECTS YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ONLINE
5 NASA Science Projects That Can Help Teach Kids Astronomy is from Discover.
Citizen science allows laymen to contribute to groundbreaking investigations, even without traveling is from The Washington Post. Here’s the key excerpt:
Log onto the Globe Observer app, for example, and help confirm NASA satellite cloud observations on your lunch break. You might count birds or insects, play games on your phone that help identify fish or plants, or scan the night sky for stars.
Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science is from The National Library of Medicine.
Siftr is a “citizen science app that allows you to create projects for any topic, from biology and ecology to photography and language studies. Participants will use your project to go out into the field and collect data.”
Four Ways (in One App) to Help NASA Study the Changing Planet is from Discover.