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Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Activities

Take a look at the rich variety of activities and speakers that the Museum of Discovery and Science hosted during their Citizen Science Weekend.

citizen science weekend 2Galaxy Zoo
Invasive Tracers
CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge
Project NestWatch
MODS Sea Turtle Project
Scientific Method
Coloring Station
Otter Observation
Public Speakers/Live Shows

                                           Photo credit: Museum of
                                            Discovery and Science

 


Galaxy Zoo

Help to classify newly discovered galaxies with your family and help astronomers map the universe!

Activity 1: Families categorized printed pictures of galaxies in a race against each other and learned about how Galaxy Zoo works and what it has accomplished.

Activity 2: Guests sorted pictures based on real world size, starting with an atom and working their way to the entire universe. Many young guests selected the universe as the smallest picture because the image was made of small dots. It was exciting to teach them to think about how large these things are in real life, and the concept worked very well.

Activity 3: Star charts were handed out and explained.

   citizen science weekend galaxy zoo

     Tanzy Wilson, part-time MODS educator
 Photo credit: Museum of Discovery and Science

 


Invasive Tracers

Florida is the invasive species capital of the world. See what is being done to collect information on these alien invaders and how you can help.

Activity 1: Kids sorted pictures of animals native and invasive to the state of Florida.

Activity 2: Specimen Study allowed families to see living and preserved examples of invasive species. They then drew the animals and labeled the animal's adaptations that enabled it to thrive in its adopted home.

Activity 3: Habitat Match asked kids to sort toy animals into their correct habitat, and then discuss moving an animal (e.g. how would a polar bear do in the desert?)

 


CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge

Measure and map precipitation of all sorts with a rain gauge, then report your data online for scientists to use.

Activity 1: Bean bags simulating rainfall were tossed into holes in a board painted with clouds. Discussion of how rainfall is collected and measured, and that different amounts of rainfall can occur in areas close to each other.

Activity 2: Families made water cycle bags that simulated evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

   citizen science weekend cocorahs

 Photo credit: Museum of Discovery and Science

 


Project NestWatch

Observe the nesting behaviors of birds by recording when nesting occurs, the number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive.

Activity: Kids made a nest craft that allowed them to put as many eggs, birds, and hatchlings as they wanted into the nest.

 


Museum of Discovery and Science Sea Turtle Project

Find out everything you need to know to help research these amazing animals and get a closer look at our newest sea turtle resident.

Activity: Families were shown how the project works, and sea turtle artifacts were shared while visitors learned about the 5 turtle species that nest on the beaches of Florida.

 


Scientific Method

Learn how the scientific method works and put it to the test with a fun physics experiment.

Activity 1: The stickiness of tape was tested by holding bags that were filled with weights.

Activity 2: Guests tested the ability of different types of tape to stop a rolling marble.

 


Coloring Station

Coloring sheets that tied into each citizen science program were available to visitors.

 


Otter Observation

Grab your otter observation card and collect data on the behaviors of the museum's cutest residents!

Activity: Information was collected about the behavior of the otters on provided data sheets. The information was logged by the otter keepers.

 


Public Speakers/Live Shows

Alien Invaders - (museum staff) Aliens have landed in the Everglades! See what kinds of creatures are taking over the area and how everyday people can help keep the ecosystem balanced and healthy.

Moonlight, Sea Turtles, and You - (museum staff) Condensed version of the Sea Turtle Project training show.

Predators of Shark River - (Dr. Michael Heithaus, Florida International University) The Florida Everglades are in trouble. A large scale restoration project seeks to correct the reduced water flows, caused by human development, across the famed "River of Grass". Scientists from FIU are studying predators in the Everglades to understand how they will respond to changes in water flows and to ensure they continue to fulfill their critical role in the food web.

Oyster Reef Science - (Vincent Encomio Ph.D., research scientist, Florida Oceanographic Society) Discussion of the Oyster Reef Restoration Project, and how every day people play a key role in the program. Visitors engaged by constructing oyster mats.

   citizen science weekend oyster mat

 Photo credit: Museum of Discovery and Science


     Want to host your own Citizen Science Day? Learn more!

 

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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