Image by Jeremy Perkins

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS WANTED!

What your role is! 

Citizen Scientists from Moscow School District and you at home will be given an official U of I NASA SPOCS Citizen Science kit! For this experiment you will be comparing the bacteria growth on your polymers for a 30-day period. You will learn how to use the scientific method while conducting an experiment that is useful and unique! After the experiment is over, you will help us pick which two of the best polymers will be sent to space to be tested on the International Space Station! For anyone interested in conducting this experiment along side our Citizen Scientists we will have more information below!

View message from our chief of citizen science, kael stelck, below to get started! 

CHECK ON BACTERIA FROM THE SCHOOL!

IMG_2864.HEIC

Dr. Lulu Stelck and you guys have been testing bacteria from all around the school! With your parents, click the link below to see the bacteria growth from different areas at the school!

U OF I POLYMER UPDATES

Use the buttons to view our team's current updated bacteria growth on each polymer & the control!

POLYMER 1

POLYMER 2

POLYMER 3

CONTROL 4

HOW CAN I SEE THE ISS FROM HOME?

With your parents, type in the website below:

spotthestation.nasa.gov

In the text box "Explore and Find Sighting Opportunities" type:

Moscow, ID, USA

Click the Moscow, ID pin on the map

Click "View sighting opportunities"

Image by NASA
Image by Jeremy Perkins

Citizen Science Forms

If you happen to lose your booklet or need the instructions again, don't worry, you can find links to both below! 

CITIZEN SCIENCE BOOKLET

CITIZEN SCIENCE WANTED INSTRUCTIONS

DIY Bacteria Growth Petri Dish

Materials:

  • 1 teaspoon of beef stock powder

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of gelatin

  • Saucepan

  • 2  Petri dishes

  • Spoon

  • Tape

  • Cotton swabs 

  • Warm spot behind fridge, near a heater, box with a desk lamp inside or on top.

This should only be done with parental consent and supervision!

Procedure:

  • Pour the water into the saucepan and bring to the boil.

  • Add beef stock powder, sugar and gelatin to the boiling water and stir for a minute until all the ingredients have dissolved.

  • Cool your new agar mixture slightly for 10 minutes. The mixture needs to be still hot to avoid the gelatin setting in the saucepan and to prevent contamination from bacteria in the air. The conditions are far from sterile, but you want to avoid as much contamination as possible.

  • Take the lid off the Petri dishes and have an adult half-fill the petri dish with the hot mixture. Only take the lid off the petri dish when you are ready to pour your agar, or they will become contaminated with the bacteria in the air.

  • Immediately put the lid back on the Petri dish and put it in the fridge for about 4 hours until the agar has set. Do not touch the agar or you will contaminate it with bacteria on your fingers.

  • Now its time to collect and grow your bacteria (or fungi) on the agar Petri dishes. Note: the Petri dishes can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days before use.

  • Bacteria is not hard to collect because it is everywhere. Try exposing one plate to the air in your house or classroom, and the other to the air in your backyard or playground. Touch one with your thumb and the other with a piece of hair. Add the scrapings from your finger nail, or touch with a piece of grass or dirty tissue. If you have some cotton swabs - using a clean one each time - run it along things like the inside of your mouth, your hands, the door handle, mobile phone, computer keyboard, and then rub it lightly across the agar in a zig-zag pattern.

  • Put the lids back on the Petri dishes, label them, tape them closed and place them upside down in your make-do incubator (if you have one) for 1 to 2 days. If you dont have an incubator, leave the plates at room temperature for 3-5 days.

  • Although your grown bacteria colonies and fungi is likely to be harmless, just as a precaution, do not open your sealed Petri dishes. Dispose of the entire sealed plate in the bin.

This experiment was sourced from Mad About Science.