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Indoorsy Citizen Science Projects


It’s cold outside! Stay in with some fun citizen science projects you can do from your living room.

The SciStarter Blog

Even if cold, cloudy weather has you avoiding the outdoors, that doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to boredom (or Netflix). Hundreds of citizen science projects, advancing research on everything from ancient Egypt to nesting birds, are designed to be done right from home. Here are some to get you started.

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Get a first-hand glimpse into the daily lives of citizens of ancient Egypt. By helping to classify and transcribe online images of scrolls from storerooms, or Geniza, you’ll be advancing research into Egyptian society and culture.

Location: Online

Egyptian scroll. Image credit: Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Project Sidewalk

Sidewalks around the country can be inaccessible to people with disabilities, whether that’s because of poor design or disrepair. Fixing sidewalks, and allowing everyone access to city streets, starts with cataloging where accessibility issues can be found. Do your part to find them by browsing images online and tagging access issues you spot.

This is our featured project for MLK JR Day of Service. Here’s a recorded interview with the project scientist. Learn how to get involved and ask the scientist anything you want when he joins us for our next SciStarter LIVE event on Zoom (Tuesday Jan. 10 at 2pm ET.) Registration is free, required and now open: Register here.

Location: Online

Screenshot of Project Sidewalk showing a person's legs at a street corner. Image credit: Project Sidewalk


SciQuest is focused on better understanding the people who participate in citizen science, AKA you!

Take quizzes that ask about your citizen science experience and your perspective on different issues. Researchers use your survey responses to build a better picture of who citizen scientists are. You might just learn something about yourself along the way!

Location: Online

Screenshot from SciQuest. Image credit: SciQuest

Living with Machines

How did the introduction of machines during the Industrial Revolution change the lives of ordinary people in the 19th century?

Look through pages of newspapers, maps and books online to find records of when, where and how machines were involved in accidents. Your contributions add data to the historical research project while training machine learning algorithms to better search and classify images in the future.

Location: Online

Black and white photo of people working on an assembly line in a factory. Image credit: Living with Machines

Nest Quest Go

Tree swallows are in serious decline and understanding their nesting patterns is one key to helping to bring these charismatic birds back.

Swoop in and help discover the historical nesting patterns of these acrobatic aerialists by transcribing information on photos of hand-written nest records.

Location: Online

Get Ready for Spring! April Is Citizen Science Month!

A tree swallow in closeup. Image credit: ©August Davidson-Onsgard/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab

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