STEM Learning in Citizen Science Projects and Programs

In citizen science (also known as Public Participation in Scientific Research, or PPSR) projects, non-scientists participate in the process of scientific research. They can develop new technologies for monitoring environmental quality, discover new galaxies, or analyze data to understand the impacts of climate change on birds in their neighborhood. This page provides a brief overview of resources about the intersection between citizen science and STEM learning that can be found on, as well as links to other relevant resources and communities.

Youth Nerds for Nature Lake Merritt bioblitz

Examples of Funded Projects

These are some abstracts of projects that have been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Key Resources and Research

The following articles, reports, and videos explore the role of citizen science in the STEM learning ecosystem.

Heather McPherson and Chris Evans, Citizen Scientist volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park, repeated this careful procedure of capture, transfer, identification and release about two dozen times over the course of about three hours of surveying a kilometer-long transect north of Berkeley Park along the Wonderland Trail.


You can learn more by reading the User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes for Citizen Science, or see evaluation in action by browsing the following evaluation reports from citizen science projects.

Horseshoe Crab Citizen Science Project Cedar Key

Professional Associations, Networks, & Platforms

Photo Credits: Nerds for Nature (CC BY-SA 2.0), Kevin Bacher (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Florida Sea Grant (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)