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MIT's Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction

What is the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction? A grand event that could only happen at MIT! Participants link their chain reaction devices together forming one mega chain reaction – set off at the end as the event's thrilling culmination.

More than 1,500 people attend this fun-for-all-ages "extreme" event!

Making a chain reaction allows people to explore their own creativity and see how their unique contraptions relate to a larger whole. No matter how unique the devices, inevitably, with a little string and duct tape, they all work together beautifully.

How does it work?
Join the fun as a spectator or, even better, as a participant! Participants must register in advance to create their own contraptions and bring them to Rockwell Cage .
Can anybody do it?
Of course! Participants range from Girl Scout troops to artists and engineers, from MIT clubs to high schools and family teams. Teams have come from as far away as Michigan and California!


The Flusurvey is an online system for measuring influenza trends in the UK.

In contrast to traditional surveillance methods, the Flusurvey collects data directly from the general public, rather than via hospitals or GPs. This is particularly important because many people with flu don't visit a doctor so don't feature in traditional flu surveillance.

Each week, participants report any flu-like symptoms they have experienced since their last visit. If you have no symptoms, this only takes a few seconds. We provide participants with regular updates on the epidemic, all the latest news and advice about flu.

This year, for the first time, we are coordinating with similar surveys in 9 other European countries, letting us monitor flu as it spreads across the continent. You can find out more on the "Join in" tab.

Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

The Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) is a citizen-science project designed to census the size of overwintering monarch colonies. As the name implies, it is conducted over a three-week period around the (American) Thanksgiving holiday in November and December by a large number of volunteers. The project is currently coordinated by Mia Monroe, Candace Fallon, and Emma Pelton with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey

Harsh winter conditions significantly affect young turkeys. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation seeks wildlife lovers in every county to help them observe and count young male and female turkeys (also known as Jakes and Jennies), from January through March.

Mushroom Observer

Mushroom Observer is a website where you can record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms.

By some estimates less than five percent of the world’s species of fungi are known to science. While things are slightly better for the large fleshy fungi known as mushrooms, it is still a common experience to come across a mushroom that cannot be easily identified in the available books or which doesn’t really fit the definition of any recognized species. This site is intended to address that gap by creating a place for us to talk about and record what we’ve found, as well as connect to the existing literature about mushrooms.

Please do not feel intimidated by the scientific bent of the site. Everyone is welcome to dive in and add their own mushroom observations, upload mushroom photos and make comments on other people’s observations.

Precipitation ID Near the Ground (PING)

The National Severe Storms Laboratory needs YOUR help with a research project!

If you live in the area shown on the map, the Precipitation Identification Near the Ground project (PING) wants YOU to watch and report on precipitation type.

PING is looking for young, old, and in-between volunteers to make observations—teachers, classes and families too! We have collected tens of thousands of observations since 2006, already making PING successful because of your help.

PING volunteers can spend a little or a lot of time making observations. The basic idea is simple: the National Severe Storms Laboratory will collect radar data from NEXRAD radars in your area during storm events, and compare that data with YOUR observations.

Why? Because the radars cannot see close to the ground, we need YOU to tell us what is happening. Scientists will compare your report with what the radar has detected, and develop new radar technologies and techniques to determine what kind of precipitation—such as snow, soft hail, hard hail, or rain—is falling where.

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