Scistarter is a site I have been following for some time now (@SciStarter). By their own description, the site is “the place to find out about, take part in, and contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects.” This process, or “ordinary citizens” contributing to large, crowd-supported research projects, has been dubbed “Citizen Science”, and the number of such projects has expanded dramatically in recent years. I will be featuring several such sites in the near future, but this is the one with which I a most familiar, so I am starting here.
Projects on SciStarter vary widely, from recording and reporting the locations of magpies using a mobile app to Citizens in Space, a project to “fly citizen-science experiments on fully reusable suborbital spacecraft that are now being developed by US companies.” Currently, there are more than 600 different projects in their database, enough to satisfy anyone’s picky appetite for science they can do at home. Many if not most projects are free, and the search feature on the site includes a free/no-cost option. I recommend you check out the site, find a project that interests you or your students, and go for it! Help drive the world’s knowledge forward!