A thirst for knowledge: Check. A solid understanding of the scientific method: Check. A full-blown lab: Ruh-roh! But fear not, aspiring scientists—solving nature’s great mysteries no longer requires access to a full supply of beakers, Bunsen burners, and petri dishes. The fact is, between the hefty processors and myriad sensors built into today’s technology, your humble smartphone can help you collect all the data you need to test a tricky hypothesis or otherwise further your scientific endeavors.
Whether you’re camping under dark skies or touring rocky canyons, we’ve found more than a dozen stellar science apps to fuel your inner astronomer, geologist, meteorologist, or naturalist. Some of the apps are a little rough around the edges—hey, science is about experimentation, after all—but their geeky cool factor more than makes up for any shortcomings.