During this session, teens used Instagram to document trash around museum campus for a project called Litterati. In this project, any citizen can document litter that they see anywhere in the world. Before recycling or throwing it away, citizens upload their picture of the trash to Instagram with #litterati. You can view a map of the litter on their website.
HackLabs strives to expose teens to a variety of citizen science projects, from both the data collection and data analysis perspectives. Litterati is just one type of project that they experience during the sequence.
This past February, Adler staff presented on the format and preliminary results of the HackLabs project to the Citizen Science Association at its first annual conference.
During the Hackathon, teens came together to develop solutions for a variety of citizen science projects:
The Chimp & See project team were charged with improving the user experience for a new Zooniverse project. The goal of the day was to design ways to encourage users to come back so they could observe repeated interactions of the same chimps. One group of students developed a video as a prototype of an online tutorial to using the project. Another group developed a Keynote presentation detailing their improvements.
Another set of teams mentored by Adler scientists worked to hack point-and-shoot cameras and design an astrophotography citizen science project. One team focused on figuring out how to hack the camera, another developed a video to promote the project, and a third created a website to tie together all the resources.
In another room, a number of teens designed and built improved containers to hold Arduinos while under water. Their final products needed to keep the contents dry for an extended period of time. Participants built a website to share out what what they created.
One challenge brought to the Hackathon participants was raising awareness of #Litterati and jumpstarting it in the Chicagoland area. Multiple teams attacked the marketing aspect of this project by designing flyers, filming a video, and creating a Prezi to educate others. Students also created three posters:
A Shedd researcher pitched the challenge of catching a range of mudpuppy specimens with traps. Participants in this group were challenged to design and build improved mudpuppy traps.