Science Barge Comes to Westlake
What is a Citizen Scientist? That is the question that Jennifer Sloan from the Science Barge, based out of Yonkers, posed to 7th grade science students yesterday.
Ms. Sloan explained that regular people can contribute to scientific discovery with their everyday interactions. Scientists learn about their environment by collecting data. Engaging local citizens to help collect that data accelerates the process. Several apps, available for download in the App Store, can turn anyone's nature walk into a scientific exploration.
Students were given iPods with the iSeek and iNaturalist apps to try to determine the biological classification (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species) of several plants and animals. The app allows anyone using it to upload photos so that scientists can keep a record of the location of different plants and animals.
Everyone had fun using their devices to identify the plants that Ms. Sloan brought along. She has encouraged a whole new crop of citizen scientists!