It would be a shame if we didn't talk about cicadas right now. Everyone is talking about cicada brood x right now. It wouldn't be right not to feature citizen science opportunities about our emerging friends. Brood X is one of the biggest and most widespread, but will not be seen by everyone, but don't worry - there's probably a brood coming your way soon enough. If you live in an area that cicadas don't visit, it's still a chance to educate your community on what's happening in another area of the country that they might not experience firsthand. Cicadas hatch [...]
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So far Christina Keasler has created 12 blog entries.
Pollinating insects are the superstars of the insect world. Everyone wants to save the bees and butterflies. They should, too. Pollinating insects are incredibly important to our livelihood and our environment. More people are starting backyard beehives, or raise and release butterfly kits as the popularity of pollinators grows. Pollen has plant specific shapes and sizes, and a single bee will specialize in a few particular plant species. Approximately one out of three bites of food or beverages we consume is a direct cause of pollination. Without pollinators, we would not only lose a significant amount of food diversity and security, but [...]
Dragonflies are amazing insects, their existence dates back approximately 300 million years, and some even consider good luck. They've also plagued experts for years with their migratory patterns. Thanks to help from citizen scientists, experts were able to not only solve the mystery, but document significant and unprecedented life cycle findings. Insects normally fall into two life cycle categories: nymph or pupa. Essentially, it's how insects spend their awkward teen years. Some insects live as a pupa, like a caterpillar; a wormy like existance before completely rearranging themselves into their adult form. Other species live as nymphs, like dragonflies, which are [...]
Many people have recently looked to outdoor activities for entertainment. We're in the thick of spring, and nature has started showing signs of life. There is so much to do, and so much to observe outside! Of course, there are plenty of citizen science opportunities to take advantage of as well. Frogs are an indicator species. This means that they can indicate the ecological health of a geographic area. They are very sensitive to environmental changes, so any variance can affect their presence in the ecosystem. They are an integral part of the wetland food chain, being both predator and prey, [...]
There are so many opportunities to help scientist monitor your local environment. Did you know that you can identify and document trees for science? Identifying trees is less intimidating because they don't move around, but there are a lot more variables than you might originally think. You've got the leaf buds, leaf shape, leaf grow patterns, bark, fruit, and more. Tree identification can be done in any season. Citizen scientists can report trees to provide a look into the species diversity and health of nearby wooded areas. Technology pairs and aids citizen science efforts yet again with websites like Arbor Day [...]
April is Citizen Science month, a great time to get outdoors, have fun while helping out the scientific community at the same time. There are so many different subjects to focus on while looking for a citizen science opportunity. I wanted to wrap up the month by highlighting a few different citizen science initiatives. I was contemplating which one to spotlight first when the Audubon posted an article about H. Jon Benjamin's renewed love of birding. Birding is one of the most renowned citizen science options. People have at least heard of birding, even if they haven't heard of the term [...]
This summer I had my first foray into the camp format of programming. Summer camps are a big thing in our community. Kids will talk about what they've learned from one camp before heading off to another. I wanted our library to get in on this, but I was a little apprehensive of diving into the deep end. So I compromised (with myself) and did a smaller scale program. One week, MWF, for one hour each, focusing on a different activity each day. *Law and Order DUN DUN music* Monday. Brush Bots. Brush bots can be a great (and cheap) way [...]
In October, I traveled across half the country and attended the Internet Librarian conference in Monterrey, California. It was my manager’s idea, and I was thrilled for the opportunity. I was not anticipating learning something in every single session I attended. This conference was a learning experience for me - right down to the break time. Some days they had three hour long breaks throughout the conference time. It was a great opportunity to take advantage of the sights and temperature of California. The conference was broken up into five tracks: TRACK A - SEARCH & DISCOVERY Search and discovery are [...]
There's a lot of hubbub about AR and VR lately. Unfortunately, a lot of this technology is financially unreasonable for many educators. That is, until the Merge Cubes were invented. It was originally made from a discarded yoga mat - and kind of still seems like it. It looks like a cube of alien QR codes, and that is essentially what it is. These alien QRs can link to elaborate AR experiences themed to coordinate with its directed subject matter. Merge cubes can teach anything from human body parts, to math and geometry, to the solar system. It sometimes seems that [...]
You don't have to look very far to find the next trend in technology education. There are a lot of choices out there, and a lot of letters have been thrown around lately, but what do they mean? Use this guide when making your next techno-decision. VR Virtual Reality Virtual reality is an all-encompassing experience. VR creates a world of its own. This can be realistic, or surreal. The important thing to remember is nothing from your physical environment is able to be seen when experiencing VR. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS VR are recocnizable names in the VR industry. AR [...]