Top 20 Citizen Science Projects of 2020

Citizen science has seen significant growth during the pandemic. In 2020, these were the top projects on

Citizen Science Salon iconCitizen Science Salon
By Bob Hirshon
Dec 30, 2020 12:00 AMDec 30, 2020 12:41 AM
snapshot safari lion
(Credit: Snapshot Serengeti and the University of Minnesota Lion Center)


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As the pandemic reshapes learning and pushes some toward new hobbies and passions, citizen science is seeing significant growth. Thanks to nearly 100,000 registered SciStarter users and many other visitors in 2020 alone, we collectively helped scientists accelerate research about COVID-19, monitor light pollution and climate change, catalogue biodiversity all around the globe and understand our world in so many other ways.

In 2020, registered SciStarter users contributed data more than three million times to SciStarter Affiliate projects.

Below we've curated this year's most popular projects. We've also cast a spotlight on five projects that made our annual top 20 stats for the first time this year. All of these projects and more can be found using SciStarter's Project Finder.

Most Shared Citizen Science Projects of 2020

These pages were the most shared via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn) by clicking the “share” button on a SciStarter page in 2020.

2020 Citizen Science Projects With the Most Contributions

These projects had the most contributions recorded in 2020. You can get credit for contributions to SciStarter Affiliate projects by signing up for an account and using your SciStarter Dashboard.

Most Viewed Citizen Science Projects of 2020

These citizen science project pages were the most viewed on in 2020.

New Citizen Science Projects to the Top 20

These five projects made our top 20 lists for the first time.

Eterna: Play a Game and Develop RNA-based Vaccines

Help researchers at the citizen science project Eterna develop new mRNA vaccines that can be deployed all over the world. No PhD? No problem! Playing this fun, online game helps you build novel RNA configurations, learn about biochemistry and solve puzzles that will help speed up vaccine development.

Snapshot Safari: Help Protect African Mammals

Search for wild animals in Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique from the comfort of your own home with Snapshot Safari. There are millions of photos lined up and ready for you to analyze. Your work will help scientists conserve some of the most beloved species and ecosystems on our planet.

Great Sunflower Project: Get Ready for Spring

Now that the days are getting longer it’s time to plan for Spring. Join the Great Sunflower Project and familiarize yourself with bees and other pollinators in your area. You can check out our coloring sheet to practice. Before you know it, it will be time to find a flowering plant and begin contributing your observations.

Crowd the Tap: Protect our Water Supply

With just a penny and a magnet, you can analyze the water pipes in your home and report back to Crowd the Tap. Your home will become part of the national inventory of water pipe materials, contributing to an understanding of drinking water safety.

Outbreaks Near Me: Help Researchers Track Disease

This year, millions of contributors to COVID Near You helped scientists track outbreaks of COVID-19. Now, COVID Near You has become Outbreaks Near Me, tracking both COVID-19 and influenza. Sign up to add your data to the project and let them know how you’re feeling.

You can find these citizen science projects and others by visiting

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