Spyglass Series - Getting Started with Citizen Science

Getting Started with Citizen Science

Speakers: Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron
Cost: $150 for 1-hour orientation plus four 90-minute installments*
Ages: 13+ (this is strict due to the limitations on many citizen science project participant ages)

Five Total Tuesday Sessions:

Session Type Date (s) Time
Online #1 Tuesday, July 20 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM PDT
Online #2 Tuesday, July 27, August 23 and August 10 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM PDT
Microsymposium Tuesday, August 17 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM PDT

 Zoom links will be sent upon registration.
*Participants must attend the entire series. Financial aid is available!

We often think of science as a pursuit you can’t really get into until you have advanced degrees and equipment worth millions of dollars. However, scientists often need a lot of help collecting data in places we all go every day.  Or, they might need a lot of people to look at images collected by automated devices. In some cases, scientists want help extracting data from historical hand-written digitized documents, like old ship’s logs. All of these types of activities are called citizen science, and they need you! Participating might mean uploading photos of trees and birds in your neighborhood, or looking at photos or digitized records. Student’s work directly contributes to the results of real scientific projects. 

In the introductory session we will go over how this works and see what student interests are and what kinds of environments they might have available for observation. Then, for the next three weeks we will introduce one or more projects per week and introduce the background science. In class, we’ll all start up and do any required training together. Students can then keep going if they’d like after class. The last week will be a “micro-symposium” in which each student will present progress in one or more projects to their peers, and talk about any data-taking trouble they had and what was surprising to them. Parents will be encouraged to sit in. Note that many citizen science projects require participants to be at least 13, or the organizing scientists may require that a parent review a participation agreement for students under 18.

About the Speaker

Joan Horvath and Rich “Whosawhatsis” Cameron are the co-founders of Nonscriptum LLC (www.nonscriptum.com). Since 2015 their Pasadena-based consulting and training firm has focused on teaching educators and scientists how to use maker tech, with a particular focus on teaching math and science with 3D printing. Joan is an MIT alumna, recovering rocket scientist and educator. Rich is an open-source 3D printer hacker who designed the RepRap Wallace and Bukito 3D printers. They are working on their eight book together, which teaches calculus with 3D printed models.