When scientists team up with public partners, research can achieve new dimension, both in terms of the scale of data collection and in terms of the educational value of collaboration. Our projects invite anyone to participate in the process of ‘doing’ science! Thousands of ant collectors made a huge success of the 10-year School of Ants project, a partnership with Rob Dunn. Together, we built a massive collection and map of ants found in backyards and schoolyards across the USA. The scientific and educational value of the project flourished into publications on the genomics of ants, the educational value of participation, and the validity of data collected using this approach, among others. In our current USDA-funded project, we are inviting public participation in mapping an expanding invasive species in Florida, the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata.