How to Join the #Megathon From Anywhere in the World on #CitSciDay2019

Citizen Science Day 2019 (referred to as #CitSciDay2019 on social media) falls on Saturday, April 13 this year. On Citizen Science Day, SciStarter and the Citizen Science Association are encouraging people all over the world to celebrate citizen science.

For a “quick start,” you may just want to join the SciStarter team right now. If so, make a Stall Catchers account using this link and you’ll automatically be part of the SciStarter team, meaning your contributions will be part of our team’s total. For more information about Citizen Science Day and the Megathon, as well as for step-by-step instructions about how to either join SciStarter’s team or make your own Stall Catchers team, read on.

SciStater’s featured event during Citizen Science Day is the Stall Catchers Megathon. Stall Catchers is a gamified way for people of all ages and of all backgrounds to contribute to Alzheimer’s research through the identification of stalled and flowing blood vessels in micro-videos. A world-wide, synchronous event, the Megathon’s goal is to have 100,000 participants annotate 1 million micro-videos in 1 hour, saving researchers 1 year of lab work. These researchers at Cornell University are studying the flow (and stalls) of blood in the brains of mice who have Alzheimer’s. Promising treatments are being studied based on treating the stalls identified by crowdsourcing citizen scientists. Stall Catchers can be played from any device that connects to the internet. Want to post on social media about your excitement? Don’t forget the now-ubiquitous hashtag: #Megathon!

One way you can get involved is by planning an event meet-up or joining an already existing event. The best way to add your event or find an event is by visiting the SciStarter Citizen Science Day page. But what if you don’t want to host or join an in-person event? You can also play from home on the SciStarter team, and we’re delighted to host you online! More instructions on this below.

The Megathon will take place from 1:30-3:30 ET. The entire event will be livestreamed and you can find the livestream on SciStarter’s FB page on April 13. From 1:30-2:00 ET, there will be introductions and speakers from the Megathon Headquarters at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. From 2:00-3:00 ET, we have the “catching hour.” During this hour, people will just play Stall Catchers! Different meet-ups will be piped in and featured on the livestream during this hour. If you want to be featured on the livestream, email CarolineN@SciStarter.org as soon as possible. Then, from 3:00-3:30 ET, we will find out the results and see how much research we all accomplished.

If you’re hosting or joining an in-person meet-up, we urge you to make or join a Stall Catchers team for your location so your contributions can be credited to this team; we’ll have some friendly competition about what team gets the most Stall Catchers points! For those who won’t be at an in-person meet-up, we’re so grateful that you want to play Stall Catchers from home! We urge you to join our SciStarter team to be part of the fun. We broke down how to join this SciStarter team and how to create a team step-by-step below.

Step One: Go to the Megathon.us site.
Step One: Go to the Megathon.us site.
Step Two: Make a Stall Catchers account. Make sure you indicate all your roles in the Megathon! If you're going to play at home on the SciStarter team, check "public volunteer."
Step Two: Make a Stall Catchers account. Make sure you indicate all your roles in the Megathon! If you’re going to play at home on the SciStarter team, check “public volunteer.”
Step Three: You made it! You’re in. Leave this page open in a tab and head over to your email to set your Stall Catchers password.
Step Four: You’ll have this email and then one more email in your inbox. Go ahead and click “set password” to make your password for your Stall Catchers account.
Step Five: This is the page you’ll land on to set your password.
Step Six: This is the other email you’ll have received from Stall Catchers. It gives you specific info about the Megathon according to your role (by role, this refers to what you checked when you signed up for the Megathon; if you checked librarian, for example, you’ll get special resources in this email for organizing a meet-up in a library). If you sign up on megathon.us, you will be registered on both Stall Catchers and SciStarter simultaneously and the two accounts will be linked. This way, your Stall Catchers contributions are also credited to your SciStarter account. This is the recommended option. If you are already have an account on SciStarter or Stall Catchers, go ahead and register at megathon.us then email megathon@eyesonalz.com to link the accounts.
Step Seven: Now that you have your password set, go back to the main page and look in the top left corner for team-specific info. To change to the SciStarter team, click choose team.
Step Eight: There are a lot of teams. To find SciStarter easily, search it on the team page, and then click join.
Step Nine: If you want to invite other people to join the SciStarter team, you can ask them to join Stall Catchers using this link. Then they’ll automatically be part of the SciStarter team!
Step Ten: Looking to create a team for your in-person meet-up? Go back to the teams page and click “create a new team.”
Step Eleven: Make sure you input the info necessary to make your new team. A good way to do this would be to put your event’s full location in the team name, like “Caroline County Public Library Nickerson Branch.”
Step Tweleve: If you need to edit your team later, click “edit team.”
Step Thirteen: Go play some Stall Catchers! I went back and joined the SciStarter team again so my contributions are credited to our global, anyone-is-welcome team.

Questions? Get in touch with me at CarolineN@SciStarter.org

Special thanks to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region, Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and the Citizen Science Association for their support and partnership with Citizen Science Day initiatives.

Categories: Alzheimers, Citizen Science Day

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About the Author

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson

In addition to being the Managing Editor of SciStarter's Syndicated Blog Network, Caroline Nickerson is a Master of Public Policy student at American University with a focus on environmental and climate change policy. She is passionate about science communication in the policy space and engaging citizens and voters. Caroline currently serves as secretary on the national board of the Commission on Local Debates (localdebates.org), an emerging nonprofit seeking to leverage technology to make debates for local elections better and more accessible. She also works as a textbook and curriculum development consultant for the University of Florida Psychiatry Department. In her role there, she is a project manager for the Christensen Project, which honors and furthers Dr. Richard C. Christensen's legacy of advocating for homeless and under-served individuals.