One STEM Activity

Learn to be a Citizen Scientist

“Science needs more eyes, ears, and perspectives than any one scientist possesses. Enter citizen science: a collaboration between scientists and those of us who are just curious or concerned and motivated to make a difference. People just like you are collecting data by taking photos of clouds or streams, documenting changes in nature, using smartphone sensors to help scientists monitor water and air quality, or playing games to help advance health and medical research.  

Here are four common features of citizen science practice:

  1. anyone can participate
  2. participants use the same protocol so data can be combined and be high quality
  3. data can help real scientists come to real conclusions
  4. a wide community of scientists and volunteers work together and share data to which the public, as well as scientists, have access

The fields that citizen science advances are diverse: ecology, astronomy, medicine, computer science, statistics, psychology, genetics, engineering and many more. Community science, amateur science, crowdsourced science, volunteer monitoring, and public participation in scientific research are also common aliases for citizen science.” – SciStarter®

Look for videos, resources, ideas, and directions for Girl Scouts working to earn the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey at

Did you know? The Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey is for all program grade levels.

The Scientific Method

Curiosity is something to celebrate because every time a girl ask, “Why?” she is beginning a scientific inquiry.

  1. Make observations about what you see.
  2. Ask your questions.
  3. Form your hypothesis; make an educated guess about what will happen.
  4. Design and conduct an experiment to test your hypothesis. What materials or tools will you need? When will you need to perform your experiment?
  5. Analyze the results (your data), draw a conclusion, and share your results.

Examples of STEM-focused earned awards

Check out the variety of badges and Journeys with STEM content on the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) and the Award & Badge Explorer tool where you can filter by “STEM.”

  • Robotics badge series
  • Cybersecurity badge series
  • Coding for Good badge series
  • Mechanical Engineering badge series
  • Space Science
  • Journey: It’s Your Planet-Love It!
  • Journey: Think Like a Citizen Scientist
  • Journey: Think Like a Programmer
  • Journey: Think Like an Engineer

…and many other individual badges within each grade level.