Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category
Here’s a link to a television news segment that aired this week on Minneapolis/St.Paul NBC affiliate Kare11’s. http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1013296/16/Scientists-call-for-your-good-germs-to-send-to-space
Nice shout out to the SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, UCDavis citizen science project we are launching. It’s called Project MERCCURI! Sign up to get involved and send us microbes from your touchscreen device so we can compare patterns to other locations and to what the astronauts find on the International Space Station! We’ll send 40 samples to the ISS in September!
ARLINGTON, VA. (September 20, 2012) –SciStarter, LLC, a Delaware-based corporation that connects people to opportunities to collaborate with scientists on cutting-edge research projects and informal science activities, is teaming up the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
to present a dynamic citizen science project showcase appropriate for elementary, middle, high school, and college level participants.
Beginning in October, a select number of SciStarter projects will be featured on the NSTA website each day and shared with teachers through newsletters, blogs and social media. These curated citizen science opportunities–ranging from analyzing distant galaxies to monitoring frog, firefly or whale populations, to detecting home and body microbiomes—will allow teachers and students to connect with researchers and learn about, participate in, and contribute to science in fun and engaging way.
“With this partnership, NSTA equips teachers and their students to contribute to real science research,” says Gerry Wheeler, Interim Executive Director. “Our members are looking for authentic science to help study and explore the world, but it can be difficult for them to know where to begin. Now we’ll be offering projects vetted, sorted and aggregated by SciStarter to NSTA’s vast network of K-12 educators and science supervisors, as well as to the thousands of online visitors to the NSTA website.”
“The NSTA has tremendous credibility in the science education community and every week reaches over 400,000 educators. The projects available through SciStarter offer opportunities to engage students in real formal and informal research projects to learn by doing. In turn, their participation will be invaluable to researchers,” adds Darlene Cavalier, Founder of SciStarter.
Researchers and team leaders interested in featuring science projects on the NSTA website are encouraged to submit them the SciStarter.com Project Finder for consideration by the SciStarter editors.
Darlene Cavalier founded both SciStarter and ScienceCheerleader.com, an organization that works through NFL and NBA cheerleaders-turned-scientists and engineers to advance science literacy and to involve people from all walks of life in science and science-related policy.
SciStarter aims to enable people to contribute to science through informal recreational activities and formal research efforts. The web site creates a shared space where scientists can work with people interested in learning about or joining their research projects.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership of 60,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.
Explosion! Renaissance! Revolution! Tsunami! This is the sort of (admittedly overblown) language you might have overheard at the first-ever large-scale conference on citizen science, to describe the recent growth of the phenomenon whereby people from outside the academy contribute valuable observations and data to those working within it.
Thanks to programs on websites like Scistarter and Citizen Science Central, anyone who wants to can affect the scientific record by studying squirrels, counting herring, collecting rainfall, planting chestnuts, designing proteins, hunting for archeological sites, measuring snow, listening for noise pollution, finding ladybugs, and documenting road kill. You can join a small, local citizen-science project going on in your nearest city park, forest, stream, or public school. Or you can be a part of a much larger program: some 500,000 people so far have participated in GalaxyZoo, in which participants help map the universe by analyzing the shapes of galaxies.
Whether it’s collecting marine debris or chasing butterflies or tracking grizzly bears, there’s something for budding citizen scientists of every stripe and appetite for adventure.
Grab your waterproof-breathable pocket protector and check out these citizen science resources:
1: You’d do well to start by perusing SciStarter’s Project Finder tool, which lets you drill down both by activity, location and topic (climate, food, insects, oceans, etc.).
Read the full Outside Magazine piece here.
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hall and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) collects precipitation data from volunteers across the country for inclusion in an interactive map used by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (among others) to monitor local weather trends. SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer weather spotters trained by local National Weather Service Forecast Office to recognize and report the signs of severe storms; these first-hand accounts of the storm’s impact are as valuable to forecasters as hard data as they send out public statements, warnings, and advisories to concerned citizens. And for kids, the National Science Foundation funded Tracking Climate in Your Backyard, to engage youth in the collection of meaningful data.
Also, here are some important resources that help you stay safe by answering some important questions about how Hurricane Isaac is impacting your community. How fast is the nearest stream rising? How can I monitor the storm surge? How fast is the wind blowing? What’s the situation offshore? What does Hurricane Isaac look like? Show it to me from space!
Here’s what he had to say about us in his blog (featured on Discover Magazine’s website):
Citizen Science.It’s a powerful new tool, crowdsourcing the work to people interested in helping out. And the cool thing is: it works. People categorize galaxies. They examine lunar craters. They look for lonely iceballs orbiting the Sun out past Neptune.
The only problem has been finding these projects… but that’s not a problem any more. SciStarter is your one-stop shopping for citizen science. Founded by my pal Darlene Cavalier (from Science Cheerleader), SciStarter has tons of projects with which you can participate. And not just astronomy and space science; there’s biology, archaeology, chemistry, health, climate…. the list is impressive.
Even better, Discover Magazine has partnered with SciStarter to create Your Research Mission, a weekly highlighted project in Citizen Science. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to participate and make a real difference for science research. Of course, if you read my blog (and you do) then Astronomy and Space may be of particular interest to you. So why not check out what they’ve got there?
If you live in or near Philadelphia, here’s a recent piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sandy Bauer, on wildlife citizen science projects for you!
We especially like this excerpt:
And if you REALLY want to get involved, check out SciStarter, which is considered to be the largest aggregator of citizen science and crowdsourced projects.
You can get started by picking one of more than a dozen topics — astronomy, say, or birds or weather. Or you can pick an activity — at home, at the beach, on a hike.
Monty Harper, an Oklahama-based educator and entertainer, has released his latest song, “Citizen Scientist,” featuring SciStarter! We’ve adopted this as our theme song. Harper drew inspiration from the research of Dr. Janette Steets, a botanist at Oklahoma State University. And the best part is that Monty is a citizen scientist himself! He has personally participated in most of the projects mentioned in the song.
If you like the song as much as we do, please share with your friends, family, and anyone who else you think might be interested in learning about real science projects they can do.
Monty has been educating and entertaining children with his music about reading, creativity, and science since 1992. He’s the host of Born to Do Science, a live program and podcast that uses music to connect kids and families with scientists and their work. If you’d like to listen Monty’s other songs, selections from the program are featured on Harper’s Songs From the Science Frontier CD.
In a former life, Darlene Cavalier was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers. Today, she’s the founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, two websites dedicated to spreading the word that science is something anyone can do (as you know!).
Discover Magazine author, Katie Palmer, recently sat down with Darlene to get the inside scoop on SciStarter and a host of other topics.
What led to the creation of SciStarter? What are Darlene’s favorite citizen science projects? What got her interested in communicating science to the public? Can hands-on activities really help us make sense of the complexities of climate change?
Read the story to find out!
Business Spotlight magazine is Europe’s leading magazine for international business communication in English.This month, the magazine includes a feature on “citizen scientists” (folks without science degrees who contribute to real science). The article gives a few nods to the work of SciStarter (formerly known as Science For Citizens) and the many projects featured in our Project Finder.
Here are two excerpts and a PDF version of the article. Sorry, the full article is not yet available online.
By taking a look at the world around you, the sky above you, the civilizations that have gone before you, or the molecules inside you, you can become a “citizen scientist.” In “Masters of the universe” (Business Spotlight 1/2012), Carol Scheunemann looks at how people are contributing to scientific understanding — through their hobbies.
And, here’s a shameless, self-promoting excerpt:
Besides folding proteins, hunting galaxies, or watch- ing snails, thousands of other activities for citizen scientists attract huge numbers of volunteers worldwide, says “science cheerleader” and blogger Darlene Cavalier from Philadelphia, co-founder of the Web portal SciStarter. The portal offers a central listing where citizens and projects can find each other. People can search in various categories, such as time, costs, or skills needed, and by specialty, or geographic area. Cavalier says that, while some people want to contribute to research, others “are drawn to citizen science because it connects them to — and helps protect — nature.”
When she’s not busy working on her Web sites, speaking at conferences, or writing for Discover, a U.S. popular-science magazine, you might find Cavalier and her four children adding to scientific understanding by digging in a bag of dirt from the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY, looking for bits of mastodon fossils.