Victoria J Serna
For my Community Outreach Project I went to the Sundance Elementary School science fair and helped judge and grade science projects made by students ranging from grades k-8. Seeing the different projects was very neat because some kids actually put a lot of thought and effort into their boards and experiments. My favorites to look at were the younger kids because they thought of really cool experiments and the ways that they decorated their boards were cute and creative. There were even some funny projects and it made the whole thing very memorable. I think that it was a very fun experience and I hope we get to do this again!
Citizen Science Summary: Candid Camera
For this citizen science project, scientists had set up motion-activated cameras in the woods in New York. My job was to look through the groups of pictures that the cameras took and identify animals in them. Most often I saw squirrels and raccoons, but occasionally there were coyotes, deer, and rabbits. One group of pictures even had a huge vulture! However, sometimes the cameras were just triggered by wind blowing leaves or grass. This activity allowed me to help scientists catalogue the amount of different animals living in the different areas of New York’s forests, which helps them learn what animals need help in what places. They are working to conserve forests and the wildlife in those forests, so by helping to catalogue information, I am helping to conserve the wildlife as well. I think this is a really great project that I will definitely participate in again, and I had a lot of fun with it.
For the Citizen science project i got on zooniverse, and went to a project called snapshot safari, where it showed snapshots from cameras on the safari and I had to identify the animals in the photo. Either moving grass set off the camera, or I’m just really bad at finding them because of the 10 images i looked through, I only found 2 animals, and both were gazelles, and i didn’t realize there were different types of gazelles so it made it a bit more difficult to identify the 2 animals i saw.
On the zooniverse website I participated in the Space Warps citizen science project. What this project is about, is identifying and classifying gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing is, based on Albert Einstein’s theory on general relativity, the bending of space caused by a massive object, therefore causing light surrounding such massive object to appear curved in its pathway. So what’s the significance of this phenomenon? Well, gravitational lenses act as magnifying glasses, allowing our telescopes to see farther into space. How cool is that? I had a pleasure participating in this project, and if you want to join in too, I encourage it, there is plenty of data waiting for you.
BESD District Science Fair
I was able to go to the BES District Office to grade science fair projects that middle schoolers had done. It was interesting to see how well some of the projects had been done, and I was curious as to how some of the students had come up with their ideas. I was surprised by how strict the rubric was in some areas and was sad to deduct points on some projects which were otherwise well done in my opinion. Seeing all the projects made me think back to ones I had done in the past and how fun they were. Overall, I had a good time seeing all the district-level projects and grading them to determine the district winner.
For the Community outreach, I went to Sundance Elementary to grade science fair projects for the kids there. There were some pretty good projects there a lot of them were a bit better than what i had at the time. It was really cool seeing what kids at that age were doing, what they knew, and how they applied it to their projects. It reminded me of all the school science fair projects that i had to do when i as younger and in elementary school. It was honestly really hard to grade some of them because it’s really difficult to come from high school work, to elementary work, and try and lower the standard a bit so a lot of the kids don’t just get F’s, especially the like grade 1-3 because i didn’t really know where to draw the line on not taking points off becuaase they didn’t know better.
While at sundance grading projects while grading we ran into some really interesting projects that I was amazed that kids there age were doing. There was one project in particular, it was a group project and it was a really nicely built diagram of a city, which was really accurately made with powerlines, and buildings it was honestly really nice and I thought it was the best thing there. But funnily enough like always, with the good projects came the bad ones. There weren’t too many terrible projects but one that really stood out was a board barely filled with any information, but a giant piece of 2×4 was glued to it we weren’t really able to figure out the purpose but the author of the project knew something we didn’t about the wood. There was also a pretty funny typo that said it took 34 seconds for an atv to stop when they hit the brakes, they probably meant 3.4 seconds, but it was still funny to imagine this atv just skidding along for half a minute after hitting the breaks.