Teachers: here’s a great citizen science project taking place 4/27 ,1:30 pm ET!

Big Cheer for Science

goal: Help seismologists detect and warn of earthquakes.

task: Do a 1 minute cheer with your class and measure the shaking of your classroom.

Join the Big Cheer for Science and Engineering on April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm ET, presented by SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, the USGS, the Iris Consortium, Discover Magazine and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Anchored at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, this one minute cheer will include plenty of stomping and shaking in an effort to get kids jazzed about science AND measure seismic activity caused by their cheer! By downloading the free software as instructed, your classroom can become part of a national network to help researchers at the USGS detect future earthquakes!

In Washington, DC, dozens of Science Cheerleaders (scientists and engineers–who also happen to be cheerleaders for the Redskins, Wizards and Ravens among other NFL and NBA teams) will lead a one minute cheer for science with 10,000 students at the DC Convention center. While they’re doing the cheer in DC, hundreds of schools across the country will do the same cheer at the same time. In fact, Mayor Nutter will lead the Big Cheer in Philadelphia and several Science Cheerleaders will be in local schools to lead the cheer.

During the cheer, you can have your students record your local ground movement and share it with other participating schools for comparison. Comparisons can be further made to how much the ground shakes during the Big Cheer at the Washington D.C. Convention Center and in your classroom and to how much it shakes during an actual earthquake.

To measure the shaking of your Big Cheer, all you need is a smart phone, a Mac or IBM Thinkpad laptop, or one of the Quake Catch Network sensors that connects to a computer’s USB port. Each of these devices has an accelerometer inside that can record ground motion in three dimensions. The software is simple to download and install.

Learn more and get started here on the Big Cheer for Science project page!

Thank you,

Categories: Geology & Earth Sciences, Science Education Standards


About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.