Are you ready for some citizen science at the 76ers on 2/18!?

Science Cheerleaders to Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on February 18, 2014.
NBA 76ers game to feature interactive science exhibits on the concourse, halftime performance by the Science Cheerleaders, in-game citizen science project for research on the International Space Station.


PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (January 30, 2014) – Get ready for an explosion of science at the Philadelphia 76ers game on February 18. Science Cheerleader announces “Science at the Sixers,” taking place when the Sixers host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, February 18, at the Wells Fargo Center. 76ers fans can participate in several fun activities during this in-game event to celebrate and increase student and adult interest in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The events are coordinated by “Science Cheerleader,” an organization of more than 250 current and former NBA and NFL cheerleaders pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. They playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire kids to consider careers in science and technology, and encourage everyday people to get involved in real science activities through citizen science projects at Science Cheerleader was founded by Darlene Cavalier, a former member of the Sixers Dream Team.

Science at the Sixers Activities

Game time: February 18, 7:00 pm at Wells Fargo Center (3601 Broad St., Philadelphia, PA)

Citizen Science on the Concourse: Engage with a dozen of the region’s most exciting research projects in need of your help. Interact with robots and sports-themed innovations developed by hometown scientists. 6:00pm pregame through halftime

Halftime performance by the Science Cheerleaders with special guest Buddy from The Franklin Institute

Catch a shirt and a microbe kit from the NBA’s most powerful t-shirt launcher and help with microbe sampling. Attendees will contribute to a citizen science research project on the International Space Station (Read about Project MERCCURI below)

Interactive Science Quiz on the JumboTron

50/50 Raffle to benefit the Philadelphia Education Fund and reward our Sixers Hometown Hero Award Recipient and Science Educator, Ambra Hook
Sneak Peak at what’s in store for the Philadelphia Science Festival this Spring!

To purchase discount tickets for this game, go and enter SCIENCE.

Project MERCCURI: Comparing Microbes from Philly to Those in Space
During the game, fans will have the opportunity to participate in Project MERCCURI, a citizen science research project to compare microbes on Earth to those on the International Space Station. Microbe collection kits wrapped in T-shirts will be shot into the stands during a time out. Fans will use the kits at the game to swab their shoes and cell phones to collect microbes. Those samples will be sent to Argonne National Laboratory to be sequenced and added to the Earth Microbiome Project.

Meanwhile, astronauts at the International Space Station will be conducting tests on 48 microbes collected previously from Earth, including EIGHT from Philadelphia: the Liberty Bell, The Franklin Institute, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, WHYY, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Phillies stadium, 76ers stadium, and the Academy of Natural Sciences where microbes were collected by St. Peter’s School students. Representatives from these organizations are scheduled to participate in the Science on the Concourse Expo at the 76ers game on 2/18! Learn more about the significance of these Philly microbes here!

Scientists from UC Davis and NASA hope to gain insights into what is living at the ISS, how microbes vary from different places on Earth and in space, and to compare growth of microbes on Earth and in microgravity. See for more information about this important and fascinating research.

Supporters of Science at the Sixers
Partnering organizations include The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Education Fund, SciStarter, and Science Cheerleader. Project MERCCURI is coordinated by Science Cheerleader, SciStarter, and UC Davis, in conjunction with the Argonne National Laboratory. The Project is made possible by Space Florida, NanoRacks, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Image: NBA

This post originally appeared on the Science Cheerleader blog.

Categories: Citizen Science

About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding Board Member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, and a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene hold degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.