Victoria J. Serna
4 May 2018
Citizen Science Project
The activity I chose to do for my Citizen Science Project was called ‘Penguin Watch’. This one happens to be my favorite because it’s a very fun and helpful way to pass time. Not only do I get to spend my time looking at cute and sometimes funny pictures of penguins, but I’m also able to see them in their natural habitat and learn more about the way they live, all while helping out and recording data for studies! I’ve done countless time-lapse photos of the penguins and I’ve included a few screenshots of what the job looks like. It’s fairly simple and honestly pretty addicting after a bit.
Thank you to everyone that visited the SNHS booth this past Friday during Club Rush! We experimented with color changing milk this year by putting dyes in milk and dropping dish soap in them. We look forward to more fun and exciting experiments for next year. To join us, take honors science classes and maintain a 3.0 GPA!
6 May 2018
Community Outreach Summary
For my community outreach project, I went to Sundance Elementary School to grade Science Fair projects. All the projects were from k-8 students and varied in topic and quality. Two projects that I was particularly interested in was one that related surface area to distance, and the other was one that compared different fabrics and how they reacted to different substances. As I and my fellow SNHS members were grading all the fascinating projects, some students that had created the projects walked around with us. It was nice to see all of the young minds that had the ability to think up such intriguing works, and made me think of how that youth might contribute to science one day and maybe even have a seat in our SNHS club someday. Though I was inspired by many projects, there were some that were underwhelming, and received low scores. I hope that these students may improve in the future, because there is always a place in science for anyone that strives towards discovery, innovation, and even just fun. Overall, it was a great experience to see the different ideas from multiple age groups and it is definitely something I would like to partake in the future again.
For my community outreach project, I graded science fair projects from West Park as well as Sundance Elementary School. I did this as a way of volunteering in my community on a scientific level. I personally had a fun experience being able to see all of the different projects that were conducted by the elementary students, especially by the younger grades such as the kindergarteners and first graders. I graded each project according to the creativity of the project and the level of work performed. Overall, it was my second year doing this and it gives a good insight of the material children in elementary schools are being taught.
I had the chance to go to Envirothon and compete in environmental activities. There was a total of 4 stations; one of them was a wildlife station another was a soil station, there was an aquatic station, and a station where we had to measure a tree and figure out what that tree could be used for. My favorite station was the wildlife one because we had to identify animal skulls and furs. We also had to identify birds as if we were actually in the wild with binoculars. (the birds were just pictures) The location was also really nice, sometimes it’s hard to believe that forests exist in Arizona. Overall, I enjoyed going out to Prescott over the weekend and just learning about the environment.
For my zooniverse project, I chose the Milky Way project. So basically what you do is map the Milky Way galaxy. I classified 77 different pictures. They show you pictures and you have to classify it either a bubble, yellowball, bow shock, bow shock driving star or other. When you classify it as other, it is either a star cluster, artifact, pillar, galaxy and if it’s none of those, then you classify it as other. The point of this project is to help scientists better understand how stars form and discover some of the most massive stars.
I had the pleasure of going to the BES District Office, to judge science fair projects from the top of each school in the district. Clipboards and pencils equipped, we started to scrutinized the projects. Some were quite impressive and creative, and other were less. What this experience taught me is that there is inevitable subjectivity in judging. For example, some poorly made projects made it this science fair, solely because they looked appealing. Such project’s science was crummy, though, subjectivity for their visual appearance got them to the top. All in all, it was a valuable opportunity to help judge these science fair projects.