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SCIENCE FESTIVALS: OUR MAIDEN VOYAGE

Facetopo kicked off our first National Citizen Science Day on April 16th at both the Cambridge Science Festival and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Incidentally, #citsciday is not just one day; it’s more like a month-long celebration of citizen science, running from from April 16-May 21, 2016!

At the Cambridge Science Festival, we rocked the popular (and Free!) Science Carnival/Robot Zoo event. Lucky us, the Facetopo booth was strategically placed between Science Cheerleader/Scistarter and Kite Man, so we had no shortage of interested visitors. We definitely took notes from Kite Man, obviously a science festival veteran. (Yes, that’s right folks -- we now have a pingpong ball blasting air gun in the works for future Science Festivals!) Three cheers to Science Cheerleader (cheerleaders from MIT and Brown who are studying to be scientists, engineers, and doctors!) not only for their support but also for their cute giant hair bows and awesome stunts.

We flew to DC Saturday night to catch Sunday at the USA Science and Engineering Festival. The largest science festival in the country, the USAScifest was on an epic scale - five exhibit halls of science and engineering at the DC Convention Center featuring the likes of: unmanned robots, solar-powered space shuttles, a musical tesla coil, and Science Cheerleaders. We didn’t even get to explore the whole place, our Hall alone had booths from the NSA, NGS, list - check map. And a huge banner over the Lockheed Martin area “This Science Isn’t Fiction” was completely awesome! We had a blast sharing about Facetopo and gave out hundreds of postcards and stickers. A huge “Thanks!” to Scistarter for featuring Facetopo at their citizen science booth.

There was terrific synergy among these featured citizen science projects: Genetics & Smell Chemistry - Family members smell an odor/scent and take a survey NASA’s SMAP - Collect/measure soil samples to compare with NASA satellite data The Great Sunflower Project - Watch a plant, record pollinators, report online Zombee Watch - Collect honey bees, report easy-to-spot signs of infection Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) - Help research parasitic barnacles, endangered orchids, and tobacco plantation archaeology Other booth partners included: Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, The Crowd and The Cloud, Science Cheerleaders, and TravelQuest.

Many interesting faces stopped by to learn more about Facetopo. Android Users were excited to hear that we’re planning an Android release. We were also thrilled to be interviewed for The Crowd and the Cloud, the new PBS documentary tv series about citizen science!

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome to the citizen science community! And hey all you civilians out there, check out Scistarter - they’ve got hundreds of active citizen science projects - see if there’s one that grabs your interest!

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