So I know its been a few weeks since I’ve posted a free app, which might make the title of the post a little defunct, but I’m going to try to bring this back by talking about a fascinating science app, Project Noah.

Essentially, Project Noah is a tool that helps students document organisms and wildlife in their area. Students can easily view organisms that have been documented by other users in their locate, document organisms of their own, and engage in research by helping scientists track wildlife across the country. As explained on their website, the goal of Project Noah is that, “by encouraging the mobile masses to document their encounters with nature, we’re building powerful force for data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation.”

The app itself has 3 modes that help students engage with the wildlife around them:

  1. Spottings – Students can take photographs of plants or animals around them they find interesting. Then, using the app, students can easily categorize their images, identify species, and add to a larger community of tracking organisms.
  2. Location-Based Field Guide – Students can quickly see what kinds of plants and animals other people have spotted in their location. Searches can be made by maps, lists, grids, or by category of species.
  3. Field Missions – Students can participate in ongoing scientific missions to help labs, environmental groups and scientific organisations gather important data. Missions are explained in more detail here, and vary from photographing butterflies and moths to tracking mitten crabs.

This app is a great way for students to engage with wildlife, flora and fauna around them and learn from the spottings of other students around them. Classes can spend time in the great outdoors, and create their own missions to share with the world through the app. Here are a couple of screenshots from the Apple App Store to better illustrate the app:

The possibilities this application holds for students with interests in natural sciences or spending time outdoors is very exciting. If you end up using this app in your classroom, let me know how it worked for you. Happy nature-exploring!

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