A spectrometer is an ubiquitous scientific tool used to identify unknown materials (like oil soil residue or coal tar in urban waterways, for example) — which is awesome, but they also tend to cost thousands of dollars be very difficult to use. That is, until Public Lab came along and designed this super nifty, super cheap open hardware version they call the DIY Spectrometry Kit. They’ve also created an open source software system to collect, analyze, and compare user-contributed data, and created an experimental version which converts your phone into a spectrometer on-the-fly. Woah. In the spirit of spectrometry and citizen science, we’re making them our Project of the Day.