We always recommend bird study as a great homeschool science activity — it’s suitable for all ages and for all seasons of the year, and it can be made as elementary or as advanced as you wish. But what if birds don’t catch your student’s interest, or what if you’re stuck inside from bad weather or illness, or what if you want to travel farther afield than your own local neighborhood? Let online research come to your rescue!
There are a number of fascinating natural history research projects available to homeschool students online. These are real projects, sponsored by university researchers, science museums, and related organizations, and your participation advances scientific and scholarly knowledge. The big clearinghouse for such projects is Zooniverse.org. Here are five natural history projects that struck me as interesting — browse around the Zooniverse site and see what others may also be available:
- 📍Manatee Chat (zooniverse.org) — Identification and classification of manatee calls.
- 📍Nebraska Wildlife Watch (zooniverse.org) — Help the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission identify species in camera trap images.
- 📍Reading Nature’s Library (zooniverse.org) — Help the Manchester Museum discover the treasures in its collection.
- 📍South Sudan DiversityCam (zooniverse.org) — South Sudan, the newest nation in the world, is extraordinarily biodiverse. Help us conserve wildlife in this special and under-studied region by identifying animals in camera trap photos.
- 📍Tag Our Trees (zooniverse.org) — Help us identify plant features while learning about botany and exploring the Arnold Arboretum’s Living Collection.
Take a look at these projects or any of the other nature-related Zooniverse projects that are now running, and make your little home academy into a research powerhouse today. 😊
What natural discoveries have you made in your homeschool lately? 😊