June 15, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 12)
Strong Points: Customizable project finder search, nicely designed website
Weak Points: None
The prevalence of social media and ever-more-accessible technology has resulted in the rise of citizen science; that is, the engagement of nonscientists in scientific research. SciStarter.com is a great resource for both current and would-be citizen scientists, as it provides a very nice and customizable “project finder” and an engaging blog. Site visitors can search projects through the project finder by selecting either an activity (which really relates to location—options include things like “at home” or “at a zoo”) or a topic (such as biology, science policy, or education). The advanced search option also allows people to specify project location or limit projects to those suitable for children, for example, or do-it-yourself projects. Each project featured on the site is accompanied by a brief description and a list of required resources (if any). To participate, site visitors can create a SciStarter account, or they can access projects directly from the corresponding external websites.