Beakur citizen science...

Beakur aspires to facilitate interest in, and ability for people to participate as citizen scientists through projects, and experimentation.

Spend more of your leisure time learning, discovering, teaching yourself, and others about the world.

Investigate

Investigate

Citizen Science research is fun because it's about the investigating the world around you.

View details »
Coffee Shop Science

Coffee Shop Sci.

Projects can be identified in your everyday life, like watching traffic and improving safety or figuring out which lines work the best at the grocery store.

View details »
Get Sparked

Get Sparked

Fooling around with some project may spark your imagination and may lead to coming up with great research of your own or collaboration with others

View details »
Visualize

Visualize/Blog

Make cool graphs and blogs for your project, or collaborate with others to do so.

View details »

Nature

Get outside and into nature
w detaVieils »

Collaborate

Collaborate

Propose Ideas, discuss how to accomplish a task, where to start, work between differing geographies.

View details »


Running memory
Does memory improve with physical activity?

Objective

To understand whether memory can be improved by doing physical activity

 

Materials

  • A track or a treadmill
  • Weights (or you can use two textbooks of equal weight)
  • A list of items 

Introduction

Studies have shown that physical activity can help improve memory as one grows older. However, does physical activity also help one memorize a list of items for an exam or paper? Since different sorts of physical activities have different effects on the body, which type of physical activity most improves memory? 

Research Questions

  • Does physical activity help improve memory?
  • What kinds of physical activity improve memory the most? 

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

  • How does memory work?
  • What kinds of physical activity are there, and how do they differ?
  • How do tests of a similar nature that are performed on the elderly compare with this test, which will probably focus on younger individuals? 

Experimental Procedure

  1. Find a group of people who are willing to participate in this experiment.
  2. Divide this group into four groups of equal size. a. The first group will memorize the list while sitting. b. The second group will memorize the list while running, either around a track or on a treadmill. c. The third group will memorize the list while lifting weights. d.The fourth group will memorize the list while doing various different stretches (make sure you go over these stretches with the person first, or that a list of stretches is readily available).
  3. Create a list of items that is random enough that it would be difficult to memorize. A list of numbers would work as well.
  4. Give the participants the list, along with the instructions of how they are to memorize it. Give each participant the same amount of time to memorize the list while engaging in their physical activity.
  5. Test the participants on their knowledge of the list. a. You do not need a time limit, unless you desire one. b. See how many items the participant can remember. c. Did the participant memorize them in order?

    http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/active-versus-passive-memory/
Rolling through stop signs
Track the amount of people who roll through a stop sign.
The purpose of this project is to track the amount of people who roll through stop signs at different times and places.
Waiting at Safeway
how long Are the safeway Grocery lines

Waiting In Line at Safeway

is there ever a good time to get your shopping done?

Materials

patience

Experimental Procedure

Do your normal grocery shopping. and find a line that best suits you. This would generally be the shortest or fast lanes, unless there are additional circumstances known prior to choosing.

If you have to leave the line do to patience make sure to check the box to indicate this.

Can worms smell?

Materials Needed

  • Earthworms (ones you found, or nightcrawlers you bought at the store)
  • Wormy Science Lab Notebook (free download available at the bottom of this post)
  • paper plates
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • Variety of substances to test: we choose apple, soap, and gummy worm, soda (coke zero), and vinegar. 
  • water

Procedure

  1. Using a pencil and ruler, draw 4 quadrants onto the paper plate. We choose to write on the bottom of the plate since ours had blue flowers on it.   
  2. Write a letter to represent the item you will be putting into each quadrant. For us it was "A" for apple, "S" for soap, "G" for gummy worm, and "W" for water. Water is your control, so really you are only testing 3 substances.  

 

Can Worms Smell? Plate with 4 quadrants and 4 items to test: STEM mom

 

3.  Use water and moisten the surface of the entire plate. Remember worms need moisture. Be liberal in the amount of water you use! You don't want puddles, but really get the plate wet. 
 

Can Worms Smell? Rub paper plate with 4 substances to test: STEMmom.org

4.  Then have the kids rub substances into the appropriate quadrants (great literacy application here, sounds, and letter recognition!) You may want to cut, mush (that's the technical name, ya know), crush, or crumble the substance so they are embedded into the plate well.

 

5. Because we put our substances on the bottom of a plate, we then turned the plate "inside out" so that our worm would have some walls which would slow them down before getting out of our experimental area! 

 

Can Worms Smell? Worm on a plate to test various substances: STEMmom.org

Data Collection:

6.  Now, before putting the worm on the plate, have your kids make their predictions about what substances they think the worm will like, and hate into their Wormy Science Notebook.  

7. Then observe the worm's response, putting a smiley face for the quadrant the worm hangs out in the most, and a frowny face for the quadrant the worm hangs out in the least. 

8. Repeat with three different worms, recording data as you go.

9. Also write down any interesting observations. 

 

Convection Current

Convection Current

Have you ever heard that hot air rises? That's true! As air heats up, its molecules expand and spread out, making the air less dense than it was before. It floats up through the denser cooler air. As the warm air rises it starts to cool off and its molecules move closer together, causing it to sink again. This circulation is called convection, and the rising and falling of the air are called currents. Convection currents are part of what causes different kinds of weather. (You'll find out how in the next experiment.)

We can't see convection in the air; do you think water might act the same way? Do this experiment to find out!

You should have an adult help you with the hot water and the knife.

What You Need:

  • Large glass jar or beaker
  • Small cup or beaker (it needs to fit inside the jar)
  • Food coloring
  • Knife
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Water

What You Do:

  1. Fill the small cup or beaker with very hot (almost boiling) water and add several drops of food coloring. Stretch the plastic wrap smoothly over the cup and seal it with the rubber band. (The plastic wrap will puff up--this is because the hot air above the water is expanding!)
  2. Fill the jar almost full with cold water from the tap.
  3. Use a pair of tongs to set the cup of hot water in the bottom of the jar.
  4. Slice open the plastic wrap with the knife and watch what happens! (One long gash should do it.)

What happened? The hot water was less dense than the cold water surrounding it, so it rose to the top in a convection current. What happens as the colored water gets to the top? Does it stay there? Why or why not?

More at: http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/weather-experiments-project

Bus seating
Track the open seating on city busses.
The purpose of this experiment is to track the amount of open seating available for commuters on city busses, on differing routes at different times of day and week.
Parklets of San Francisco
Are the parklets being utilized?

Parklets of San Francisco

Are the parklets of San Francisco being utilized?

Materials

1) Phone

Introduction

Studies have shown that ...

Experimental Procedure

Go to a parklet or small park where you can identify the amount of people using it (within sight)

Solar Ice Cubes
Does color alter the rate at which ice melts?

Does the color of the ice cube change the speed at wich it melts?
http://www.green-planet-solar-energy.com/solar-energy-kids-4.html

Different colors have different heat absorbing capacities. 

Materials :
6 Ice cubes, or the same shape and size. 
Either 6 different pieces of paper: White & Black, then others like red, green, blue and yellow. (depending on how many cubes you choose to test.) Cut the pieces of paper in even sized squares of about 3 to 5 inches.


Process : 
Put one ice cube on each card and place them all in the sun. Make sure all the ice cubes are exposed to full sunlight. See which one melts the fastest, which melts the slowest.

Measure the Time that it takes for each different color to melt and write down your observation.

Alternativley, you could use food coloring to make different colored ice cubes and measure the differences.

 

Level of Annoyance
Measure your current annoyance
The purpose of this project is to track how annoyed a person is.
Running Memory
Does running improve memory

http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/active-versus-passive-memory/

This takes about a day to complete

Objective

To understand whether memory can be improved by doing physical activity 

Materials

  • A track or a treadmill
  • Weights (or you can use two textbooks of equal weight)
  • A list of items 

Introduction

Studies have shown that physical activity can help improve memory as one grows older. However, does physical activity also help one memorize a list of items for an exam or paper? Since different sorts of physical activities have different effects on the body, which type of physical activity most improves memory? 

Research Questions

  • Does physical activity help improve memory?
  • What kinds of physical activity improve memory the most? 

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

  • How does memory work?
  • What kinds of physical activity are there, and how do they differ?
  • How do tests of a similar nature that are performed on the elderly compare with this test, which will probably focus on younger individuals? 

Experimental Procedure

  1. Find a group of people who are willing to participate in this experiment.
  2. Divide this group into four groups of equal size. a. The first group will memorize the list while sitting. b. The second group will memorize the list while running, either around a track or on a treadmill. c. The third group will memorize the list while lifting weights. d.The fourth group will memorize the list while doing various different stretches (make sure you go over these stretches with the person first, or that a list of stretches is readily available).
  3. Create a list of items that is random enough that it would be difficult to memorize. A list of numbers would work as well.
  4. Give the participants the list, along with the instructions of how they are to memorize it. Give each participant the same amount of time to memorize the list while engaging in their physical activity.
  5. Test the participants on their knowledge of the list. a. You do not need a time limit, unless you desire one. b. See how many items the participant can remember. c. Did the participant memorize them in order?
Capillarity of Soil

Overview

To compare the rise of water by capillarity in sandy, clayey, and loamy soil.

Capillarity is the phenomenon by which water rises in cylindrical columns in soil. The narrower the column the higher the capillarity. Similarly, the more dense the substrate is present in the column , the higher the capillary effect.

 

Loam is soil composed mostly of sand and silt, and a smaller amount of clay (about 40%-40%-20% concentration, respectively).

Info

Capillarity  is why clayey and mixed loamy soils are better options when it comes to growing healthy plants. In addition to being rich in nutrients it also retains moisture and helps water reach the transport channels of plants and thus helps them and grow.

Materials

  • Sandy soil sample
  • Clayey soil sample
  • Loamy soil sample
  • 3 Glass tubes (open at both ends)
  • Water
  • Glass for holding glass pipes
  • Glass wool to plug one end of each of the glass pipes 

 

Estimated Time

Approximately 10 minutes to set up the apparatus and 1-2 days to carry out the observations

Step-By-Step Procedure

1. Plug one end of the glass tubes using glass wool.

2. Pack 3 long glass tubes tightly with dry sandy, clayey and loamy soil; clearly label each tube.

3. Fill the beaker with water.

4. Immerse the tubes vertically in the beaker with the plugged end towards its base.

5. Make note of the levels of the water as it rises in the glass tubes containing each type of soil

 

 

Snooze Alarm
How many times did you hit snooze today?
The purpose of this experiment is to track the amount of sleeping in with some sleep habits.
Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze

Air seems like the lightest thing in the world, but it actually pushes down on you and the ground with a great deal of force. This force is calledair pressure. Air pressure doesn't always stay the same; meteorologists measure its changes with a barometer. In the last experiment we saw that when air heats up it begins to rise. When it rises, it doesn't push on the ground with as much pressure. An area full of light, warm air is called a low-pressure zone. Areas with cool, denser air are called high-pressure zones. What happens when a low-pressure zone and a high-pressure zone are right next to each other? Do this experiment to find out! Have an adult help you with the oven and matches.

What You Need:

  • Two metal pans
  • Ice
  • Sand
  • Candle
  • Cardboard box (if necessary)

What You Do:

  • Set up the experiment in an area where it will be protected from drafts. If you need to, you can make a three-sided screen by cutting off one side of a cardboard box.
  • Pour some sand into one of the pans and put it in the oven to heat it up. (300 degrees for 5-8 minutes.)
  • While the sand is heating up, light a candle and then blow it out. Which direction does the smoke flow? If you have protected your area from drafts, it should flow straight up just like your convection current.
  • Fill the second pan full of ice. Put the pan of hot sand and the pan of ice side by side. (Set the hot pan on a pot holder!)
  • Light the candle again and blow it out, then hold it in between the two pans, right above the edge of the ice pan. Which direction does the smoke flow?

What happened? When you lit the candle the first time you did it in an area where the air pressure was constant, so the smoke flowed straight up. When you set the pans side by side, the ice cooled the air around it, creating a mini high-pressure zone, and the sand warmed the air around it to create a mini low-pressure zone. Air always flows from a high-pressure zone to a low-pressure zone to even up the pressure - this is what causes wind. You made a tiny breeze between the pan of ice and the pan of sand, and the smoke floated sideways in the breeze. The same thing happens between cold ocean water and hot beach sand, which is why there is almost always a breeze at the beach!

Air pressure changes cause wind, but they are responsible for other types of weather too. A low-pressure zone usually causes clouds and rain, because as the hot air rises it carries with it evaporated moisture that can condense into clouds. A high-pressure zone usually results in clear skies and sunny days because sinking currents prevent moisture from rising up and forming clouds.

Try tracking the air pressure for a few days in your area and see how it relates to the weather. You can use a barometer, or check the National Weather Service website.

Does living near a park make you more active

Moving closer to outdoor recreation not a recipe for being more physically?active You'd think that people choosing to live near to outdoor recreation amenities would have a lower body mass index or BMI thanks to an increase in all that healthy outdoor activity right on one's doorstep. Yet a new University of Alberta study looking at the relationship between reasons for choosing a neighbourhood to live in, physical activity and BMI, shows that's simply not the case. In fact researchers found that those who said they'd moved to be closer to outdoor recreation opportunities actually showed a marked increase in BMI over the six years of a longitudinal study conducted from 2002 to 2008, and led by Tanya Berry of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/09/24/moving.closer.outdoor.recreation.not.a.recipe.being.more.physically.active?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+eScienceNews/popular+(e!+Science+News+-+Popular)&utm_content=Twitter
Foot long Sub
measure your foot long
Measure your foot long Sub sandwich.
Beer Tracker
Track how much beer you're taking down.

Beer Tracker

Track your beer intake.

Materials

1) Beer

Research Questions

Todo

Experimental Procedure

Enter your beer count

Pizza Orgazmica Service
Do you get you wings before your pizza?

Pizza Orgazmica San Francisco

Pizza O has legendary service. This is meant as a project to track that. Specifically, how often you are likely to get your pizza before an order of chicken wings.

Materials

1) Money for pizza

Experimental Procedure
Order a pizza and some chicken wings.

Track the quality and timing of the wings.

Make Butter (Young Kids)

Making Butter 

Materials

  1. 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  2. a large glass jar with a lid OR a hand or electric mixer and a mixing bowl
  3. a large bowl
  4. a spatula
  5. cold water
  6. 2 ramekins
  7. Optional: a pinch of salt, a tray of candy molds, butter molds and/or wooden stamps

Procedure

  1. Bring the heavy whipping cream to room temperature.
  2. If you are using a jar, pour the cream into the jar, screw on the lid, and begin shaking the jar. If you are using a mixer, pour the cream into the mixing bowl and begin beating.
  3. After a couple of minutes of shaking or beating, the heavy whipping cream will turn into lighter whipped cream.
  4. After a couple more minutes, the lightly whipped cream will turn into a thicker whipped cream.
  5. Soon this thicker whipped cream will separate into solid butterfat and liquid whey.
  6. Eventually, you will have a lump of yellow butter and some liquid buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk out bit by bit and keep shaking or beating the cream until no more buttermilk is forming and all the buttermilk has been poured out. (You can collect the buttermilk in another jar and cool it in the refrigerator. Then you can drink it or bake with it later!)
  7. Dump the lump of butter into the large bowl. Pour cold water over the butter and squeeze the butter against the side of the bowl with the spatula to press out any last bits of buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk/water out and rinse the butter with more water. Repeat until only clean butter remains.
  8. You can mix a pinch of salt into your butter to preserve it and make it taste a little less sweet.
Personal Questionnaire
This experiment is designed to understand how people think about and understand the world around.

Personal Questionnaire

Please answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability, remember the answers to this questionnaire will remain private, but the knowledge we gain from this survey will help us to better understand the human mind.

Click "Add Record" to begin.

Germinate Seeds

Getting Seeds to Germinate

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h199

A seed contains a tiny plant called an embryo. It rests in the seed until it is placed in the right surroundings for it to germinate (sprout). For it to awaken, it must have water (moisture), oxygen, and the proper temperature. Some seeds, not many, need light also.

The right temperature is different for different groups of seeds. Warm season plants such as melons germinate best at 90°F. while cool season crops such as lettuce germinate best at 75°F. Most of these will not germinate at all if the temperature becomes too hot or too cold.

In this experiment, you are going to see how seeds germinate. You will also see how temperature changes the sprouting time of several kinds of seeds.

 

 

Materials needed - Drinking glasses or jars, paper towels, vegetable seed, and saucers.

Procedure - First, soak overnight some squash, melon, or cucumber seeds and some lettuce, beet, or radish seeds in the saucers. Also, you may try some other seeds that you have on hand.

Then, find six drinking glasses or jars. Line the inside of each of them with a paper towel. Cut it off evenly at the top of the glass, and be sure the paper fits evenly against the bottom

 

Put about one inch of water in the bottom of three of the glasses and watch the paper soak up the water. Leave the other three dry. They are your "controls." This way you will have an untreated group to compare your treated seeds with

Now, put a couple of each kind of seed that you soaked overnight between the moist paper and the sides of each glass. Do not put them down in the water on the bottom.

Then, place two containers (one with water and one without water) in a warm room such as the kitchen; place two containers (again one with and the other without water) in a medium warm room such as a bedroom; and place the other two in the refrigerator.

 

 

Look at the seeds every day. Keep the bottom of the glass covered with water. This is a good method to watch seeds sprout. Keep notes on what you see so you can write your report. Do all the seeds sprout at the same time? 'What starts to grow first, the root or the stem? Do the seeds sprout sooner in a cool room or in a warm room? Do they sprout in a refrigerator? What happened in the glasses without water?

 

Beakur as an educational tool
How many Beakur users are teachers and use it in their classroom?

This program seems like a great opportunity to make every student into a budding scientist. I want to see how many are already using it in this fashion and how it has worked for them.

Measure Air Pollution

Purpose

To determine the amount of foreign particles in the air in a specific area.

Breathing air is vital to our existence, but have you ever thought you might not be breathing purely clean air? This simple experiment will give you an idea of how “dirty” your air is.

Required materials

  • White posterboard
  • Scissors
  • Vaseline
  • String
  • Hole punch
  • Magnifying glass
  • Permanent black marker
  • Journal or notebook

Estimated Experiment Time

About a week.

Step-By-Step Procedure

1. Find an area in which you can hang several cut out pieces of the posterboard. You can do this in your home if you’d like to find out how clean the air in your home is, or you can hang the cut out pieces of posterboard outside in your yard or another area.

2. Cut the posterboard into several squares.

3. Draw a square with the marker on each cut out piece of posterboard, a little smaller than the square itself.

4. Punch a hole in the top of each piece of posterboard and tie pieces of string in the holes so you can hang the cut outs in various areas.

5. Smear a thin layer of Vaseline inside the drawn square on each cut out and hang them in different places within the area you’ve chosen. Record the areas you’ve hung each cut out in your notebook.

6. In about a week, collect your squares.

Note

You may need an adult’s help cutting and punching holes into the posterboard or hanging the cut out pieces of posterboard in high places so they are not disturbed.

Observation

With the magnifying glass, count how many particles you can see stuck to the Vaseline in each square. Record the number of particles, as well as the location of each cut out in your journal.

Cross Walk Watcher
Watch how many cars stop when pedestrians are in cross walks.
Watch traffic. Track how many cars fail to stop while pedestrians are crossing at a crosswalk.
ARCS
Aquatic Regional Citizen Science