For many kids and teens, summer is a time for traveling and expanding their knowledge of the world. For some it’s also about doing something helpful for their communities, getting involved in volunteer projects. But with travel restrictions and in-person volunteering opportunities limited, Summer 2020 is going to be different. Not to worry — there are still many opportunities to benefit the greater world and learn in the process, by participating in citizen science!

As citizen scientists, kids can play games and earn points for contributions toward scientific research, all from the safety of home. They can pass the time knowing that they aren’t just “passing time” but actually furthering a good cause, like studying wildlife in remote regions of the globe, tracking climate change, learning about distant galaxies, discovering underlying signals of diseases like Alzheimer’s, or helping researchers design new models for proteins to bind to viruses like Covid-19.

So last month Pasadena Public Library gave two webinars highlighting some of our favorite citizen science projects. These are projects that offer learning opportunities, fun, and enrichment, and most of them are kid-friendly and easy to do. Click on each slide to go to that citizen science project’s website.