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Participate in Science

It's great to learn about science, through reading our blog and other science news sources. But are you ready to take your involvement in science to the next level? If you're not sure where to start, here is a list of some of the "citizen science" programs available.
  • Zooniverse
    The Zooniverse is one of the largest online citizen science projects. It began as "Galaxy Zoo," where ordinary people could sit down and help identify different galaxies by answering simple questions about its shape, number of arms, etc. This was later updated in Galaxy Zoo 2 (the current version). Not long after that, several new projects were also added to the Zooniverse: Mergers, in which you try to manipulate a simulation to match the image of two colliding galaxies; Supernovae, in which you compare pictures to identify exploding stars; and Solar Stormwatch, which looks for things like sunspots and solar flares. All of these projects provide real data to scientists, and can lead to new discoveries (Green Pea galaxies, for instance). For a way to do real science, and still have fun, the Zooniverse is one of the best projects out there.
  • Citizen Sky
    Unlike the Zooniverse project, Citizen Sky takes an in-depth look at one star: Epsilon Aurigae. It is a variable star, meaning that its brightness changes. It undergoes these "eclipses" every 27.1 years, and they last around 600 days. The Citizen Sky project observes the star, in an attempt to see what causes these eclipses, and why they occur when they do.
  • GLOBE at Night
    Globe at Night is yet another astronomy citizen science project. This one works to monitor levels of light pollution, particularly in urban areas. Participants around the world find compare their night sky to the magnitude charts provided on the sight, and report their observations. There is also a smartphone application that allows you to report your observations even more easily.
  • The Open Dinosaur Project
    There's a lot of awesome stuff happening in space research right now, but the astronomers aren't the only scientists with more data then they can handle. That's where the Open Dinosaur Project comes in. Right now, the project is creating a comprehensive database of dinosaur limb measurements. This will allow paleontologists to look more closely at the function of these limbs, as well as answer evolutionary questions. 
  • Herberia@Home
    If botany is your thing, then this project from the UK might be for you. Herberia@Home is a project attempting to digitize and document the plant collections of the UK's museums. Like the others, it is entirely online, and provides important data to scientists worldwide.
  • Fold.It
    For those who are more biology, chemistry, or medicine inclined, there is a web game that allows participants to try folding their own proteins. This fun application goes towards figuring out how proteins fold, how they degenerate, and how they can cause - or cure - various diseases.
  • Volunteer!
    Online citizen science projects are great if you want to help with research. But that's far from the only way to get involved with science. If you feel you've learned a lot through your own research, and want to share that knowledge with others, than volunteer work is one of the best options out there. Look up natural history or science museums near you; many have volunteer programs. Even if that's not an option, there may also be community science organizations around. And, if even those don't exist, you can always start your own. Below are some links to various museums and organizations, to help you get started.
Mad Science
Science Olympiad
FIRST Robotics
- Project Exploration

    If you have other suggestions about how and where to get involved with science, please feel free to contact us using the links to the left. This list is definitely a work-in-progress, just like the fields of science itself.