Citizen scientists can test local bodies of water, soil and household products for contaminants with a new breed of spectrometers.
Spectrometers are widely used by astronomers and chemists to identify unknown materials. By making the tool more accessible, an open-research community called Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) is hoping to build a “Wikipedia-style library” of environmental data. Public Labs is looking for support on Kickstarter to build a kind of “Shazam for materials.” Public Labs, an open community devoted to DIY civic science, is making four types of DIY spectrometers which also available on Kickstarter.
SOURCE LINK to full article: http://mashable.com/2012/09/03/public-labs-diy-spectrometer/