App review by Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2015
Project Noah
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Project Noah

Contribute kid research to stellar crowdsourced field guide

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Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 6 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Science, Critical Thinking

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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.

The Project Noah website allows you to set up a classroom account, but unless you have the Amplify version, 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.

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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. In the Amplify version of the app, teachers can create classrooms and add students, further customizing the experience.

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. This is particularly useful in the Amplify version since teachers can set up classrooms, and students can log into their classrooms, directly within the app.

Overall Rating


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.


Kids learn to observe their environment and do 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.


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

Common Sense reviewer
Erin Wilkey Oh Common Sense

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Clarissa J. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Use this on nature walks and in classroom with preschool students.
I enjoy that it allows us to connect our real natural world with our digital world. We build the connection between what we see in the world and on a screen. Now, new animals that are not in our local environment that we see on a screen have more meaning because the students understand someone far away is taking the picture. Animals from other places are more tangible.
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Privacy Rating

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