Archive for the ‘Appearances’ Category
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.
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.
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.
November 5th, 2016
Join SciStarter at the Bay Area Science Festival this November! This free festival will be packed with science enthusiasts. Come to explore hundreds of hands-on activities, opportunities to meet local scientists and engineers, plus fun and educational entertainment.
Find SciStarter to learn about citizen science projects you can do in the Bay Area and beyond. We’ll be getting you set to look for ZomBees, monitor migrating butterflies, band local birds, and even learn about finding exoplanets!
From 10am-12pm, we will be joined by Kayla and Anelisse from the 49ers Gold Rush squad who are also STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals. Come learn how they found a love for science and turned it into a career.
“I have obtained my Bachelors in Psychology, Masters in Sport Psychology and am currently in graduate school working toward my Doctorate (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology. I intend to utilize my degrees and pursue a career as a sport psychologist specifically working with dancers and football players. Sport psychology is an interdisciplinary science that draws upon various fields such as, biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology. Sport psychology ultimately focuses on how psychological factors influences the way an individual performs. The role of a sport psychologist is to clinically diagnose and treat a client through therapeutic tools and performance enhancement techniques.” Learn more about Kayla, here.
“In high school, I loved environmental science and created a study to manage water quality in my hometown. I was also the first female student to exhaust our advanced math and science program! At Stanford, I studied mechanical engineering, which relies on physics for analysis! I got to take principles I learned from physics and chemistry and apply them one step further to study (and also create!) objects that exist in the real world. I’m now working at a software company, which focuses on computer science.” Learn more about Anelisse, here.
I’ve never been that great at guessing people’s ages. But I didn’t think much about my lack of ability until I met my husband, who seems to be pretty good at it. That’s why I was intrigued to learn about AgeGuess, a citizen science project and online game that challenges players to accurately guess other players’ ages based on their photos.
The researchers behind the game hope the data it collects will shed light on the differences between perceived age (how old we look) and chronological age (our real age). Previous research has suggested that perceived age could be a biomarker—or predictor—of life expectancy.
A Different Kind of Dataset
The game got its start when Dr. Dusan Misevic attended a presentation given by his colleague, Dr. Ulrich Steiner, about the idea of using citizen science to gather data on human aging. The two shared a background in evolutionary systems biology. “I became interested in the project,” says Misevic, “and we spent much time in the following months discussing the idea and looking for a way to implement it. It still took more than a year to then build things up to the creation of a first version of ageguess.org.”
Volunteer participation is critical to the project’s success. “The users are not only providing the guesses,” says Dr. Misevic, “but they also provide the pictures that are guessed upon. Because of that, the volunteers built up both the input side of the project (photos) and the result side (guesses on the photo). This initiates a circle of growth for both sides and a diversity of pictures that we would not be able to gather in a classical scientific study.”
The researchers plan to use game data to address a variety of questions about perceived age and aging rate:
- Are people who look older than their real age more likely to die early?
- Do all people age at the same rate, or do some age more rapidly than others?
- Can a person’s rate of aging speed up or slow down due to stress or health problems?
- Are there trends in aging rate associated with gender or ethnicity?
- Do people tend to look about as old as their parents did at the same age?
- Are some groups of people—say, 20-year-old women—better age guessers than others?
“Life expectancy is increasing at a constant rate of about 6 hours per day for the last 150 years,” Dr. Steiner notes. “However, it is important to stress that the goal of AgeGuess is not to ‘cure aging’ and that the project is much closer to basic than applied science. It is most likely to first help scientists who are studying aging by providing them with a new aging dataset and potentially new age biomarkers.“
The project is young and welcomes citizen scientists from around the world. So why not help the pro scientists out? As Steiner says, “Scientists are people too, right?”
Norene Griffin is a freelance writer and science enthusiast who regularly blogs about K-12 education, reading, and the neuroscience of learning. She is a passionate self-learner who often starts her investigations in the middle of the story, with the details, and comes back later to the generalizations of beginnings. She earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the University of California, San Diego and later studied photography and 3D art at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her musician husband and son and a cat named Mr. Peepers.
SciStarter is a proud founding partner of Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology (ECAST), a network that cordially invites you to the USA launch of the World Wide Views on Biodiversity project:
A distributed, agile, collaborative, and non-partisan 21st century approach that integrates citizen participation, deliberation, expertise, and assessment into government policy making, management, research, development, informal education, and dissemination at the national and international levels.
11AM – 2PM, Tuesday, June 5, 2012 (Lunch Provided)
Koshland Science Museum, 525 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Introduction and Welcome – Darlene Cavalier, Science Cheerleader
From OTA to ECAST, a 21st Century Model for Technology Assessment – Richard Sclove, Loka Institute, invited
WWViews Process: From Global Warming to Biodiversity – Richard Worthington, Pomona College
CBD & COP 11: US Government Perspectives and Priorities – Barbara DeRosa-Joynt, US State Department, invited
Panel Discussion: Non Governmental Issues and Priorities – Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Americaspeaks, moderator
Real-time Deliberation on National Priority Questions for Biodiversity – Netra Chhetri, Arizona State University
Dissemination and Amplifications of the Results – David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science, Boston
Reflections from the Participants – Gretchen Gano, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Technology Assessment and Citizen Participation – Naba Barkakati, US Government Accountability Office
Results and Next Steps – Jeanne Troy, Koshland Science Museum
World Wide Views on Biodiversity
On Saturday September 15th, 2012, groups of one hundred ordinary citizens in Washington, Boston, Denver and Phoenix will join similar groups across the globe to learn about biodiversity issues, discuss important policy choices, make up their minds, and express their views. The citizen meetings will start at dawn in the Pacific and continue until dusk in the Americas. All meetings will have the same agenda and use the same approach in order to make results comparable and useful for policymakers who will gather the following month in India to discuss future measures for preserving biological diversity.
World Wide Views (WWViews) Alliance
The project is organized within the World Wide Views Alliance, consisting of national and supportive partners and is coordinated by the Danish Board of Technology, a non-profit and impartial parliamentary advisory board.
Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) Network
ECAST is a national network of nonpartisan policy research institutions, universities, and science centers working together to conduct balanced technology assessments. Its mission is to support better-informed governmental and societal decisions on complex issues involving science and technology.
WWViews USA Alliance
Arizona Science Center; Colorado School of Mines; Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University; Denver Botanical Garden; Koshland Science Museum; Loka Institute; Museum of Science Boston; Science & Technology Innovation Program at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Science and Technology in Society Program at Virginia Tech; Science Cheerleader; Science, Technology and Society Initiative at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; and SciStarter.
goal: Help seismologists detect and warn of earthquakes.
task: Do a 1 minute cheer with your class and measure the shaking of your classroom.
Join the Big Cheer for Science and Engineering on April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm ET, presented by SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, the USGS, the Iris Consortium, Discover Magazine and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Anchored at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, this one minute cheer will include plenty of stomping and shaking in an effort to get kids jazzed about science AND measure seismic activity caused by their cheer! By downloading the free software as instructed, your classroom can become part of a national network to help researchers at the USGS detect future earthquakes!
In Washington, DC, dozens of Science Cheerleaders (scientists and engineers–who also happen to be cheerleaders for the Redskins, Wizards and Ravens among other NFL and NBA teams) will lead a one minute cheer for science with 10,000 students at the DC Convention center. While they’re doing the cheer in DC, hundreds of schools across the country will do the same cheer at the same time. In fact, Mayor Nutter will lead the Big Cheer in Philadelphia and several Science Cheerleaders will be in local schools to lead the cheer.
During the cheer, you can have your students record your local ground movement and share it with other participating schools for comparison. Comparisons can be further made to how much the ground shakes during the Big Cheer at the Washington D.C. Convention Center and in your classroom and to how much it shakes during an actual earthquake.
To measure the shaking of your Big Cheer, all you need is a smart phone, a Mac or IBM Thinkpad laptop, or one of the Quake Catch Network sensors that connects to a computer’s USB port. Each of these devices has an accelerometer inside that can record ground motion in three dimensions. The software is simple to download and install.
Learn more and get started here on the Big Cheer for Science project page!