Monday, October 3, 2011

Cheering for crayfish

I was so pleased to work with the Science Cheerleaders at HESTEC Community Day promoting citizen science in general and a little about the Craywatch project in particular. The weather was cooler than normal - rain for the first time in a long time! - but there were still consistently good crowds to see the Science Cheerleaders’ show. I was able to surprise them when they learned that even though none of them had been to The University of Texas-Pan American (home of HESTEC) before, they had a connection with us. The cameraman on their popular YouTube video, Brandon Garcia, was a UTPA alumnus.
After each show, I talked a little bit about the Craywatch citizen science project that I have at the Science for Citizens website. I did it a little differently each time, but the last time I said something like, “You know what cheerleading has in common with science? You have to work hard at it to get good. I went to school a long time to become a professional scientist, and you might think you can’t do science if you don’t have fancy degrees. No! All you need is an inquiring mind and a willingness to learn. If you don’t like crayfish, there are hundreds of other real research projects that you can help with.” The Cheerleaders got asked to be part of a lot of photographs, and signed almost as many autographs.
This tiara’d women is Laura Eilers, the choreographer.
Ringleader Darlene Cavalier takes a picture.
Thanks so much to Darlene, Laura, Melissa, Heidi, Sammy Jo, Sandra, Ada (making her Science Cheerleading debut, if I remember right) for letting me be part of the act. Hooray for the Science Cheerleaders! Additional: The view from the cheering side.

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