By Nick Fordes
2,083 citizens and scientists representing 111 different organizations collaborating on 71 challenges to produce over 100 innovative solutions to issues at home on earth and in space!
Wow! Citizen science was really in full gear during last month’s International Space App Challenge. The NASA-lead project was a huge success and created a considerable media buzz, landing a spot on the BBC News homepage.
The 71 challenges ranged in scope from creating an app to visualize the cosmos from the perspective of an alien planet to developing an oven that can bake in space using low energy. These challenges resulted in over 100 solutions, 50 of which are nominated for open judging through Tuesday, May 15th.
That’s right, you can still have a part in this incredible initiative by voting for the solutions you like best! You can go the main voting page to get started, or check out a blog post with descriptions and videos of each project on open.nasa.gov (which, by the way, is the great newly revamped blog about NASA and it’s community involvement).
The short videos of each project really show how motivated the participants were and how that motivation translated to true inspiration in creating solutions. In watching the videos, I was personally amazed at how ‘out-of-the-box’ some of the solutions were; a product I believe of the diverse make-up of some of the teams and an overall embrace of the interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit. Admittedly, it was hard for me not to vote for all of the solutions!
The International Space App Challenge is a great example of what citizen science can achieve. While this was certainly a large project, its model can certainly be replicated on a smaller scale to gain similar motivation and achieve equally innovative solutions.