Why it’s OK to fail: empowering students to discover

By Guest November 17th, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Comment

By Lea Shell

Middle school students are presented with a bucket of what, at first glance, looks like dirt. They pull handfuls onto their lab bench and carefully begin to sift.

“I found a shark tooth!” one student exclaims,  prompting the other students to peer more intently at their own piles. Before long, they see that the 10-million-year-old sediment that they’re sifting through—rejected from a nearby phosphate mine in North Carolina—contains the fossil remains of sharks. Some students go through several handfuls before finding a tooth, some just “get lucky,” but they’re all reaching into the bucket to see what they can discover. Read the rest of this entry »

If you sleep or age, you can do these projects!

By Alycia Crall November 10th, 2016 at 11:55 am | Comment

unnamedCitizen Science about you.

Contribute to research on sleeping, aging, and even your fidgeting habits. Something for everyone.  Below, we highlight five fun projects that contribute to our understanding of the human race.  Find more with the SciStarter Project Finder.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate World Science Day with Citizen Science and NASA

By Catherine Hoffman November 9th, 2016 at 11:22 pm | Comment

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credit: GLOBE

Today is World Science Day, an internationally celebrated day to increase the public’s ability to participate more meaningfully in science and to take action on environmental issues important to their community. The day also coincides with International Science Center and Science Museum Day. At SciStarter, we see citizen science as the perfect way to celebrate and promote science today (and everyday!).logocolor-01

SciStarter is partnering with NASA and its GLOBE Observer App to involve citizen scientists in understanding their global environment. You can participate today by downloading the GLOBE Observer App through the iTunes App Store or Google Play and use the referral code SciStarter.  Then, start classifying the clouds above you! Simple as that! Remember to use our referral code (SciStarter) and see your contributions on the GLOBE site!

When you’re ready to do more real science with NASA, get involved in the El Nino project to ground-truth satellite data, monitor soil moisture levels near you, and more.

There are 1500+ citizen science projects and events on SciStarter you can do to celebrate World Science Day. Find one through the Project Finder.

Cheers,

The SciStarter Team.

Coming to Consensus on Classifying Cyclones

By Carolyn Graybeal November 8th, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Comment

Cyclone. Image Credit: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone#/media/File:Cyclone_Catarina_from_the_ISS_on_March_26_2004.JPG

Cyclone. Image Credit: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone#/media/File:Cyclone_Catarina_from_the_ISS_on_March_26_2004.JPG

For years,  weather-monitoring agencies around the globe have collected data to help determine whether and how tropical cyclones — called hurricanes in the US — change over time.

But another thing that changes over time is the technology used to record storm data. This, combined with changes in record keeping standards has created an inconsistent dataset that is difficult to analyze collectively. Climatologists are left with two options: limit their research to a subset of the data and risk of a less representative analysis, or reorganize the data into a consistent format, a time- consuming task.

Cyclone Center, a collaboration between academic, non-profit and government organizations, is enlisting citizen scientists to attempt the latter. Through its website, volunteers are helping Although image classification is a common task in crowdsourced projects across multiple science fields, Cyclone Center is the first project to tackle such a massive meteorological dataset.  Read the rest of this entry »

SciStarter and the Science Cheerleaders join forces at the Bay Area Science Festival

By Catherine Hoffman November 8th, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Comment

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Bay Area Science Festival at ATT Park.

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Science Cheerleaders explore the festival.

Imagine thousands of scientists, naturalists, engineers, and innovators in one place and that’s the Bay Area Science Festival! The SciStarter team travelled to San Francisco to spread the joy of citizen science to this excited group. We were lucky to be joined by Kayla and Anelisse from the 49ers Gold Rush squad and the two newest Science Cheerleaders.

Kayla and Anelisse explored the festival stopping for photos with future scientists. Kayla is pursuing her doctorate to become a clinical psychologist and hopes to work with people with mental health needs. Anelisse is a recent engineering graduate and is now learning to code for a software start-up. Both of these women challenge the stereotypes of cheerleaders and women in science, paving the way for future women in STEM. Read more about their experience on the Science Cheerleader blog and learn about the new Science of Cheerleading e-book.

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A view down the SciStarter booth

The SciStarter booth featured Chris Quock from the ZomBee Watch project. He brought along samples of honeybees and zombie flies to educate attendees on the spread of this unusual parasite. He also showed off a DIY light trap to attract and capture potential ZomBees.

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Learning about migration and changing seasons

Kids at our booth could also make their own coloring sheet featuring a migrating animal from the Journey North project. These sheets are colorful reminders to keep an eye out for animals as the move south for the winter and when they return north in the summer.

 

 

We were also joined by staff and volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory who demonstrated how professional and citizen scientists can track birds through banding. Kids were able to practice bird banding, by banding themselves!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth to unleash their inner scientist!

Learn more about our featured projects.

Journey North

ZomBee Watch

CalAcademy Citizen Science

Project Panoptes

Folding@Home

San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory