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The Community Science Spider Project


“Spiders in Your World”

Explorit's 2012-2014 Community Science Project (CSP) incorporates community events including science lectures, a citizen science spider observation survey project, and a creative writing aspect

During 2012 and 2013 members of the public were able to participate by doing home research experiments, entering a photography show and spider art contests, and attending a Spider Spectacular event at Explorit. 

Two aspects of the Spider CSP are continuing indefinitely: "Where's My Spider" which is a citizen science project on iNaturalist and "Web of Words" a creative writing project.

It's simple to REGISTER for your "CSP ID number"

Got Questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions section. 


"Where's My Spider" 

findspiders.pngThis Citizen Science Project is for participants of all ages who take photographs and would enjoy taking careful photographs of spiders. Primarily focused on the spiders of Yolo County California project participants will help build a map of spider distribution in the county by entering their data and photos online. This part of the Spider CSP is ongoing. 

• Download Explorit's CSP Spider Search Guidelines pdf. 

• Visit our "More About Spiders" page where there is some identification help.

• When you have a photo and have identified your spider (or not!) you should upload the image HERE (in Explorit's spider project space on the iNaturalist website.)


"Web of Words" (WoW) creative writing

WoW-icon-72x72px.jpgParticipants are encouraged to read E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web" and "The Story of Charlotte's Web" by Michael Sims but the main thrust of this spider event is the creation of original spider stories and poems by all ages of children and adults. We hope the selection provided here will encourage you to PARTICIPATE.


Aspects of the Spider CSP that have concluded


Public Lectures

Spider lectures were included in "Explorit's Cutting Edge of Science" series that presented a variety of topics including those that were part of the "Spiders In Your World" CSP.

  • Tuesday, May 1st, 2012: The fascinating world of spiders.  Speakers: Dr. Rosemary Gillespie is Director of the Essig Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Berkeley and Heidi Ballard from the UC Davis School of Education. 
  • Thursday, August 30th 2012: Jumping Spiders. Speaker: Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley Damian Elias. 
  • Thursday, October 25th, 2012: Tarantulas. Speaker: Elena Coupal.   

"What's my Spider Doing?" a home experiment

A 2013 home indoor experiment to examine whether temperature affects jumping spiders' speed of hunting. Each experimental setup involved two uniform spiderariums each containing a jumping spider. Prey (crickets) were provided weekly at two temperatures. Observers timed how long it took for each spider to attack its prey. Both prey and spiders were purchased from suppliers. The data was entered on a datasheet and then into an online database on Explorit's website. [Instructions and Datasheet]

"Where do my spiders like to hang out? - another home experiment

Brick “Spider Condos” that were very easy to install in participant backyards or side yards were left undisturbed from early summer to fall. The temperature and light conditions were monitored automatically (hourly) using small logging devices.

A Photography Show (2012) and Art Contest (2012-3) 

2012 Explorit and the Davis Art Center hosted a Spider Photography Show as part of the pilot CSP, the amazing spider photographs are on display at Explorit in the main gallery now through February.

For 2013 Explorit hosted a Spider Art Contest. Students drew, painted or sketched their way toward a chance to win fabulous prizes while also learning about the often misunderstood and under appreciated spider. 

Supporting Events at Explorit

A spider theme prevailed throughout May–October 2012 with activities, and experiments during the summer classes program and the weekend public hours was all about spiders. Public Library spider programs and Spider Search parties throughout the county were held during 2013. Watch for more of these fun events for kids and families.

Attitude Survey

A questionnaire on Survey Monkey is designed to learn about people's attitudes toward spiders.  The survey tool can be taken by anyone but CSP participants with a registration number/code will be asked to take the survey at the beginning and again at the end of the project. 

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