App Review
Project Noah

Contribute kid research to stellar crowdsourced field guide

  • The “My Noah” page has big quick links to the things kids use most.

  • A “Field Guide” shows pictures submitted by Project Noah users.

  • Kids submit a “Spotting” to share what they’ve found and to get more information from the community.

  • Kids earn Patches for completing Missions.

Quick Take
Pros: Kids can see they're making a real-world impact; missions support authentic learning.
Cons: The depth and accuracy of user-generated content varies, and there are some privacy concerns.
Bottom Line: An outstanding resource that makes science relevant with lots of classroom potential.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will enjoy using their mobile devices to get outside and look for new things. The design is clean and intuitive. Teacher-created, structured missions that match the class curriculum might be more engaging.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Kids learn how to see the environment and begin scientific fieldwork. This powerful tool empowers kids to document what they see, right where they are. The additional steps of field research (naming, context, etc.) could extend the learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The experience is fairly simple, but there's no tutorial or obvious starting point. The website offers a FAQ and more detailed information about the project and may be a better place to begin. The active user community can inspire excitement.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Project Noah is a crowdsourced online database of plants and animals that lets kids become citizen scientists. Kids use the camera on their mobile device to capture images of their local ecosystems, then share them through the app or by uploading them to the Project Noah website. Photos are added to a growing field guide that kids can view as an interactive world map. Kids can also actively join specific local or global missions, contributing valued scientific data.

When kids see an animal, they can upload a "spotting," entering data on the species including common name, scientific name, description, and habitat. If kids aren't sure about the details, they can click “Help me ID this species," which invites other users to weigh in. The user community is highly active, and comments and feedback are overwhelmingly informative.

Is It Good For Learning?

The interactive field guide is a great way for kids to learn about plants and animals in their neighborhood or around the world. Local and global missions can be a fun way for teachers to get kids actively observing their environment and participating in real-world scientific research. For example, the "Mitten Crab Watch" mission helps scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center keep tabs on an invasive species that is impacting the San Francisco Bay, the Great Lakes, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Teachers can also create custom missions to coordinate with class materials.

How Can Teachers Use It?

The Project Noah website allows you to set up a classroom account, but this isn't accessible in the mobile app. There are some privacy concerns, as Project Noah is also a social network that contains user-created content, but that's more pronounced on the website than in the app. User-generated entries may not provide the most detailed information for each organism, but Project Noah provides a great opportunity for teachers to get kids started observing, researching, and writing about their environments.

This review of Project Noah was written by

Related Products