Archive for the ‘ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit’ Category

Making Citizen Science Tools Discoverable and Accessible

By December 4th, 2016 at 9:08 am | Comment

At SciStarter, we aim to make it easy to find and join meaningful citizen science projects. Choose a location, activity, or topic to find appropriate adventures and learn more about the project and what tools (sensors, digital scales, rain gauges, etc) are needed to participate. But, for many projects and would-be participants, there are challenges to accessing the right tools for the job. (We define “tools” as equipment not usually found at home.) So, we took the follow steps to find a solution and are ready for your help to populate a new database of citizen science tools.

Step One: We interviewed 110 people about their citizen science tool needs.

Through participation in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps for Learning program, a collaboration of researchers between SciStarter and Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU’s School of Engineering adapted lean launch methods to explore and develop a better understanding of the ecosystem of stakeholders around citizen science tools. Read the rest of this entry »

Citizen Science Makers Summit at Arizona State University

By November 1st, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Comment

Citizen Science Maker Summit

We managed to wrangle half the participants for this closing photo!


SciStarter and Arizona State University hosted change-makers from both the citizen science and maker movements at last week’s first-ever Citizen Science Makers Summit. These two movements both aim to disrupt the status quo of science by changing who participates in the scientific process.

“Makers just dive in and create creative engineering solutions” says Darlene Cavalier, ASU Professor of Practice, Founder of SciStarter, and co-organizer of the event. “This characteristic mirrors that of the millions of citizen scientists around the world who are contributing to our understanding of the world and how we can solve today’s problems.”

The summit brought together the Maker and Citizen Science community, two “islands of misfits” in the scientific process, to determine how they can work together to move forward.

sharingideas“We had people participating from government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health, along with people from foundations, industry, academia, librarians and local community leaders” says Micah Lande, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering at ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering and organizer of the event. The day and a half event consisted of panels, keynotes talks, lightening talks, and informal discussions to shed new light on the connections between the citizen science and maker communities.

The outcomes of this summit will be outlined in detail in a forthcoming white paper, but several outcomes are highlighted below.showandtell

  1. Experts refined a forthcoming SciStarter database of tools to determine how we can better categorize the tools necessary for citizen science projects.
  2. Panelists shared the educational resources available for maker projects and how these models of education may apply to citizen science.
  3. Attendees brainstormed how SciStarter can link citizen science project managers with makers who can design and develop tools for their projects.
  4. Panelists and keynote speakers addressed how we can popularize citizen science taking into account lessons from the popularization of the maker movement.
  5. Makers shared their innovations and ideas at a nighttime Show and Tell.
  6. Attendees discussed how to mobilize university resources to create formalized citizen science and maker spaces on campus.

soilmoistureThank you to all the participants for sparking our curiosity and discussing the future. We can’t wait to see what is next for these communities!





Related posts:

Citizen Science Summit brings power to the people.

ASU Leads Everyday People Toward Everyday Science Experiments.

Tweets with #CitSciMake

Facebook Photo Album

Photos courtesy of Lea Shanley and Kaitlin Vortherms. 

Citizen Science Maker Summit at Arizona State University: Register this week

By October 3rd, 2016 at 9:20 am | Comment

Citizen Science Maker Summit


Do you run, or are you involved in, a citizen science project? Have you created, or would you like to create, a low-cost instrument that can be used for scientific research?

Then join us for the the ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit 2016  ,  a two-day event, hosted by Arizona State University in partnership with SciStarter, designed to explore the crossroads of citizen science and the maker movement. The summit is scheduled for October 26 (evening), 27 & 28, 2016 in downtown Chandler, Arizona at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center.

Brainstorm with representatives from the NIH, EPA, NASA and USGS as well as from private foundations, industry, and local communities.

Register this week!


Crowdsource Your Data Collection?

By July 6th, 2016 at 9:32 am | Comment

Here are some excerpts from a recent article about SciStarter, as originally published by Environmental BioPhyics, “a group of scientists passionate about measuring the environment.”


Measuring and Modeling the Environment



Crowdsource Your Data Collection?

What can you do when you need data from all over the world in a short amount of time?  Many scientists, including ones at JPL/NASA, are crowdsourcing their data collection.

Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University is the founder of SciStarter, a website where scientists make data collection requests to a community of volunteers who are interested in collecting and analyzing data for scientific research.

Cavalier is determined to create pathways between citizen science and citizen science policy. She says, “The hope is after people engage in citizen science projects, they will want to participate in deliberations around related science policy. Or perhaps policy decision makers will want to be part of the discovery process by contributing or analyzing scientific data.”  Darlene has partnered with Arizona State University and other organizers to form a very active network called Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST).  This group seeks to unite citizens, scientific experts, and government decision makers in discussions evaluating science policy. Cavaliers says, “The process allows us to discover ethical and societal issues that may not come up if there were only scientists and policy makers in a room.  It’s a network which allows us to take these conversations out of Washington D.C.  The conversations may originate and ultimately circle back there, but the actual public deliberations are held across the country, so we get a cross-section of input from different Americans.” ECAST has been contracted by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, and others to explore specific policy questions that would benefit from the public’s input.

Overcoming Obstacles

Another obstacle to some types of research is access to instrumentation.  Darlene comments, “The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project really opened our eyes to how many obstacles can exist between the spectrum of recruiting, training, equipping, and fully engaging a participant.”  This year, SciStarter is building a database of citizen science tools and instruments and will begin to create the digital infrastructure to map tools to people and projects through a “Build, Borrow, Buy” function on project pages.


“The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project really opened our eyes to how many obstacles can exist to full engagement.”

What’s Next?

Darlene says that sometimes scientists who want accurate data without knowing about or identifying a particular sensor for participants to use often create room for data errors.   To address this problem, SciStarter and Arizona State University will be hosting a Citizen Science Maker summit this fall where scientists, citizen scientists, and commercial developers of instrumentation will meet to determine if it’s possible to fill gaps to develop and scale access to inexpensive, modular instruments that could be used in different types of research.  You can learn more about crowdsourcing your data collection with SciStarter.

Read the full article: Crowdsource Your Data Collection?