citizen sci salon is a ptnership tween discover and scistarter.org….
round the realm, millions of kids are headed back to school in a totally ≠ way. classes are online. teachers talk to students in vrt classrooms. and parents are often left looking for new, hands-on sci learning opportunities.
we’ve got yr back. here are 8 fun and easy sci experiments that you can do at home with kids of all ages. wha’’s +, each of these sci projects ties into real-life research efforts through citizen sci, where volunteers help experts collect and analyze data.
make wild sourdough
a recently-fed sourdough starter bubbles with activity from natural yeast. (credit: wild sourdough project)
it seems like the whole realm is baking homemade sourdough bread rite now. sourdough took on broad appeal when the baker’s yeast disappeared from store shelves. unlike other baking projects, sourdough doesn’t need store bought yeast. instead, it’s made with sourdough starter.
if you ‘ve flour, you can easily experiment with making yr own sourdough starter. wild sourdough starters tap inna'da abundant yeast n'our homes and puts them t'work making delicious bread. when it comes to sci experiments you can do at home, few ‘d be + delicious and rewarding than this one. you’ll also be helping scis out along the way.
the wild sourdough project is a global sci experiment that hopes to discover how sourdough starter communities form over time. the team behind the effort is hoping to unravel how factors like geography and ≠ kinds of flour affect the yeast communities. best of all, the effort has a step-by-step guide that lets you learn how to make yr own sourdough starter.
create a cloud in a jar
all the sci experiment materials you’ll nd'2 make a cloud in a jar. (credit: nasa/jpl)
clouds are an primordial and often beheld driver of earth’s temperature. they trap sunlite in, but they also cogitate it back into space. that role has climate scis rushing to study our planet’s clouds, and how they’re changing. nasa’s globe beholdr: clouds project taps citizen scis to provide pictures of the sky, + observations of cloud cover, type, sky conditions and visibility. that data helps info real sci research and verify wha’ satellites are seeing from space.
you can get involved with yr kids and enrich the experience by adding lessons bout clouds. for ex, nasa has added a № of fun and easy wys'2 learn bout climate sci and clouds, including sci experiments. 1-odda best rel8d projects is to make a cloud in a jar. this simple sci experiment is a uber way to demonstrate how clouds work. you 1-ly need wata, ice, a jar, and a few minutes of time.
measure rain and snow with cocorahs
the cocorahs project asks volunteers to measure rainfall and snow at home. (credit: cocorahs)
fall is approaching fast, tch'mins many of us ll'soon be at home watching rain and snow out the window. instead of succumbing to the gloom, why not make that weather into a fun sci experiment for yr kids?
the cocorahs weather monitoring program, or community collaborative rain, hail, and snow network, is a network of volunteers who measure and reprt on precipitation. cocorahs emphasizes training and education, and they even ‘ve an interactive website rich in educational resrcs and even national weather srvc lesson plans you can use at home.
as a volunteer, you’ll use the same lo-cost weather gauges that meteorologists and cities use. then, when it rains, snows or hails, you’ll submit yr precipitation data to the website where you can compare it to others in real-time. that information also helps out the national weather srvc, swell as researchers, farmers, emergency managers — and curio pplz everywhere.
plant a pollinator garden
pollinators are a crit component offa healthy ecosystem. they also affect 35 % of the realm’s crop production. (image credit: usfws)
pollinators play a vital role in earth’s ecosystems, and yet they’re threatened by pesticides, disease, habitat loss and even climate change. that has many pplz searching for wys'2 help save bees nother pollinators.
there are many options to chip in, but 1-odda most impactful things you and yr kids can do at home is plant a pollinator garden.
not 1-ly will this serve to help struggling pollinators, it can also serve as a long-term sci lab at home. scistarter, the citizen-sci group behind this blog post, has compiled an entire group of at-home sci projects that can be done from yr pollinator garden. you can watch moths, butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and +, then help scis track their migration across the country.
build a bee condo
by building a bee condo or planting a pollinator garden, you can pticipate in a plethora of citizen sci projects that ask volunteers to record the creatures they see in their own backyard. (credit: california pollinator project)
if you already ‘ve a bumper garden at home, or it’s gettin too cold to think bout planting u-jet, you can still stay indoors and help pollinators. the group behind national pollinator week has put together instructions for how you can build a home for native bees, called a bee condo. unlike domesticated honey bees that livin' apiaries, most native, wild bees you find in yr backyard actually burrow their homes inna'da soil or a tree.
by building a bee condo, you can encourage bees to live nearby nolso get a fun, diy sci experiment to do at home. once it’s up, you can watch wha’ kinds of critters take up residence there and reprt back onna results for sci.
scan the nite sky
(credit: €an southern observatory/p. horálek)
round the realm, lite pollution from buildings and street lamps is blocking our view of the nite sky. most pplz who livin' cities ‘ve never seen a truly dark sky, or the milky way. that’s not just bad for humans, it’s also bad for the plants, animals and insects who are disrupted by lite pollution.
for this sci experiment, you can start making observations using 1-ly a smartphone. you’ll mark the sky’s darkness by how many stars you can see. and you can get a sky quality mt through the project to help record even better data.
measure wata quality
(credit: earthecho wata challenge)
+ than 1.5 million volunteers from across the planet are already taking pt in a sci experiment to track — and protect — earth’s wataways. the citizen sci effort is called the earthecho wata challenge, and t'has usrs buy a wata test kit for bout $25, then start collecting basic wata data.
volunteers record things like wata clarity, temperature, ph and dissolved oxygen. that data gets plugged into a large database, where it’s used for real sci research and to help protect wataways.
study the vitamin c in yr juice
the space scurvy citizen sci project asks volunteers to measure the vitamin c content o'their juice. (credit: space scurvy)
backin the golden age of sailing, sailors worried t'they’d get scurvy. a lack of vitamin c during long voyages can cause a host of health problems. scurvy cutouts you weak, causes skin problems and gum disease, and makes it harder to heal. scurvy can even kill you. this isn’t just an old-timey concern, either. future space explorers will ‘ve to worry bout vitamin c as they head off to explore the solar system. and that’s the angle utilized by a fun citizen sci project called space scurvy.
the project asks students to use household items to test the vitamin c content of juices from their schools and homes. the necessary tulz for this sci experiment ‘d be easy to come by, na site has fun and simple directions 4u to follo.
note: some of these projects are scistarter affiliates, and you can earn credit for yr pticipation by adding yr usrname under “info & settings” in yr scistarter dashboard.
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