Few insects fascinate us as much as ants do. Perhaps it’s because of their astonishing diversity, or perhaps its because of their social habits; either way, many a budding entomologist got his or her start by watching a swarm of ants in the backyard.
The School of Ants would like us all to become entomologists (or more specifically, myrmecologists) by studying the ants that live in urban areas. To participate, you need to set up your own ant collection kit (a PDF file of instructions is provided) and send in your samples. At the moment, the project is restricted to the US as the postal service is understandably a bit touchy about people mailing bug samples to one another without a permit. However, the project is in the process of expanding, and you may find that there is a local international collaborator in your country.
There’s a handy video explaining how to collect specimens, and you can read about some of the discoveries the project has contributed to already. Meanwhile, if you want a good book about ants that demonstrates their scope and variety, I can recommend Journey to the Ants. It is chock full of photos and has some really cool stories about ant behaviour.