We’re taking citizen science to the National Science Teachers Association and the San Antonio Spurs game. Join us!

Dionn, MBA, Former Warriors cheerleader Regina, Medical Doctor, Former Redskins Cheerleader Laura, I.T.,Former Spurs Cheerleader

Meet Science Cheerleaders Dionn, Laura and Regina on April 11 at the National Science Teachers Association in San Antonio from 2-3 pm and join them at the San Antonio Spurs game on 4/12 to collect microbes to send to space!

Project MERCCURI (Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on ISS),a new research project from Science Cheerleader, SciStarter and UC Davis, is being made possible by Space Florida and NanoRacks LLC. Both organizations partnered in late 2012 to sponsor the “International Space Station Research Competition” and support innovative research payloads getting to space.

Project MERCCURI was selected as a winning project for the competition, and will facilitate the study of how microbes in buildings on Earth compare to those found on the International Space Station. Through December 31, 2013, the public can join the research team to collect swabs of surfaces at sporting events, in classrooms and at other venues. The microbes collected on the swabs will be characterized by analysis of their DNA; this will allow comparison of microbial distributions across the country. Some living microbes from the swabs will be grown in the laboratory and then sent to the International Space Station for growth rate comparisons and microbial playoffs! All results will be shared with the public.

Join the Science Cheerleaders and our partners at the National Science Teachers Association conference in San Antonio on April 11 from 2-3 pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 215.

Then, come to the San Antonio Spurs game on April 12 where we will collect microbes from the stadium, court and game ball. The Spurs are offering discount tickets in addition to providing access to their court!

If you can’t make it to San Antonio, have no fear! We’re in the process of confirming similar events across the country and WE NEED YOU! If you’re interested in hearing from us as we build out our Project MERCCURI event calendar and/or as we analyze results, please sign up here.

PSSST: Every participant will earn a MERCCURI mission patch, too!

Categories: Citizen Science

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.