Helping Scientists Do Real Science!
The power of the web is
tremendous. Different organizations and scientists have created web sites that
allow ordinary people the joy of working on real science projects. On this page
we feature some of the most exciting examples of "citizen science" projects that
are on the web today. Each picture is linked to a science project, or in the
case of Zooniverse , a collection of science projects. Explore, learn and help
contribute to one of the greatest adventure humans can partake in; SCIENCE!
NOVA Labs: A global
leader in science education, NOVA, is creating another marvel for us!
Over the past few decades, new technologies have
revolutionized the way science is done. Computers and other tools now
generate avalanches of data, while also making it easier to visualize,
analyze, and share. As a result, the raw material of scientific research
can now be made available to anyone with the interest and motivation to
use it. To take advantage of this opportunity, we’re creating NOVA Labs:
a new digital platform–distinct from the regular NOVA website –for
“citizen scientists” who want to actively participate in scientific
work. This first Lab is about the Sun. But over time, individual Labs
covering a wide range of topics will challenge users to learn about
science by actually doing it, to think like scientists and sometimes
even contribute to real-world investigations.
is an incredible site. Well designed and intuitive interface makes this
a fun place to explore. The science projects are engaging and clearly
explained. Click on the screenshot to visit the site. Here are a few of
the projects that you can join:
- Solar Storm Watch - Help spot explosions on the Sun and track
them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early
warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way.
- Ancient Lives - Transcribe ancient papyri, discovered in
Egypt over 1,000 years ago.
- The Milky Way Project - The Milky Way Project aims to sort
and measure our galaxy. We're asking you to help us find and draw
bubbles in beautiful infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
- Old Weather - Help scientists recover worldwide weather
observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I.
These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and
improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to
track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.
is another revolutionary tool that challenges people to help scientists
solve puzzles. Many of these puzzles have to do with how proteins fold.
The web site is well designed and you will have to download some
software to your computer to participate.
game was produced at the University of Washington. Congratulations to
David Baker and his group for creating an amazing tool.
Take a look at this
YouTube video from Nature to
learn more, or just click the screenshot to the left to visit the site.
School of Ants project is a
citizen-scientist driven study of the ants that live in urban areas,
particularly around homes and schools. Participation is open to anyone
interested in contributing. Teachers, students, parents, kids,
junior-scientists, senior citizens and enthusiasts of all stripes are
involved in collecting ants in schoolyards and backyards using a
standardized protocol so that we can make detailed maps of the wildlife
that lives just outside our doorsteps. The maps that we create with
these data are telling us quite a lot about native and introduced ants
in cities, not just here in North Carolina, but across the United States
and, as this project grows, about the ants of the world! If you'd like
to participate, read about how and join us!
Network for Citizen Science Projects and Resources is an amazing web
site that has hundreds of projects that you can learn about and
contribute to. The breadth and depth of these projects is extensive.
NCSPR has put together an intuitive place for anyone interested in
science to gather. The site features:
- a project database - so that you can find one that fits your
- other resource
- even a way for scientists to post their own projects
is a flash game in which every puzzle completed contributes to mapping
diseases within human DNA. This is a challenging science citizen
project, but worth investigating!
Though it may appear to be just a
game, Phylo is actually a framework for harnessing the computing power
of mankind to solve a common problem; Multiple Sequence Alignments.
Humans have evolved to recognize patterns and solve visual problems
efficiently.By abstracting multiple sequence alignment to manipulating
patterns consisting of coloured shapes, we have adapted the problem to
benefit from human capabilities.
By taking data which has already been aligned by a heuristic algorithm,
we allow the user to optimize where the algorithm may have failed.