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  1. Nicole Colston
  2. http://www.spottyrain.org
  3. Assistant Research Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Oklahoma State University
  1. Clement Abai
  2. GRA
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Oklahoma State University
  1. Tutaleni Asino
  2. http://tutaleniasino.com
  3. Associate Professor & Director of Emerging Technology & Creativity Research Lab
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Oklahoma State University
  1. Michael Hull
  2. Executive Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Southeast Oklahoma Library System
  1. Ayodeji Ibukun
  2. https://www.ayoibukun.com
  3. Graduate Research Associate
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Oklahoma State University
  1. Chrissy Leclear
  2. Intern
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Oklahoma State University

Enhancing the Capacity for Rural Libraries to Engage the Public in Drought Sc...

NSF Awards: 1811506

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Informal / multi-age, All Age Groups

Learn about our 2021 Virtual Citizen Science Expo (VCSE) hosted in collaboration with the Southeast Oklahoma Library System (SEOLS). The goal of the VCSE was to celebrate Citizen Science Month and share many opportunities to participate in citizen science with kids, families and youth educators. We partnered with SEOLS to create the Outdoor Explorer (OE) library program to teach kids about nature inquiry using fun videos and citizen science logbook challenges to get kids outside and making observations about leaves, weather, insects, maps, soil, and birds. Outdoor explorers visited the VCSE to explore online exhibits and live presentations from citizen science programs.The Mozilla Hubs platform created a fun and interactive space for kids to talk with real scientists, engage virtual reality models (e.g. water cycle, soil profile, and leaves), watch videos, and download activities. The VCSE is an event of the Spotty Rain Campaign led by Oklahoma State University. We work with rural and small libraries to share resources to manage drought risks and encourage community participation in volunteer drought monitoring. During the VCSE, we spotlighted weather, water, and environmental monitoring projects via partners at the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) and the Community Collaborative for Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network. Volunteer rainfall and condition reports can help scientists determine where and when devastating droughts may occur. The VCSE showcases an innovative partnership with rural libraries and creative use of educational technologies to meet the virtual programming needs of STEM educators, youth, and families in the era of COVID-19.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (21 posts)
  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Facilitator
    Director
    May 10, 2021 | 04:14 p.m.

    I love the idea of a virtual citizens science expo that introduces people to citizen science where community gathers: the (virtual) library. It seems you were able to do one of then by now. Can you tell us more about your audience, and about initial findings for the expo?

     
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    Ayodeji Ibukun
    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:49 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest in the project!  The citizen science programs are excited about the possibility to meet in virtual spaces, as it meets a need for recruitment and sharing educational materials.  The backyard explorer rooms support the logbook challenges---so one student showed me an insect ID guide and we were able to explore a type of caterpillar together. The weather rooms hosted live cam interactions with scientists--so for example, we all shared the size of recent hail in our area.

    April was our first real pilot, and we look forward to more gatherings to explore its full diffusion!

  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 07:50 a.m.

    Good Morning Everyone!

    What an amazing project – connecting children to scientists to libraries to nature and in doing so enhancing both the lives of all involved and hopefully working towards a healthier natural world. So I have several questions to help kick off our discussion.

     First, I am curious if you have considered bringing in books beyond straight up nonfiction. This list is wonderful https://bookroo.com/books/topics/droughts and I would also add Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. If you have used books like these, have you seen an impact on student engagement?

     Second, I’m wondering about the actual mechanics of this beautiful cycle that you’ve set up from scientist to library to student to nature. Are you able to tell how this cycle is actually functioning in practice, which parts are most strongly invigorating or benefiting the other parts? And have you been able to measure the impact on students (how much are they participating, what does their participation look like, are they engaging with all parts of the program equally)?

     And finally, I was so intrigued by your efforts to create a bridge between rural and urban areas (since that seems like a growing divide in our culture at large) so I’d love to hear a bit more about that.

     Feel free to respond to whatever aspects of this seem intriguing or add your own questions.

     
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    Ayodeji Ibukun
    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Michael Hull

    Michael Hull

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 11, 2021 | 11:14 a.m.

    So far we've focused on non-fiction, but I believe you are right in suggesting we include fiction.  I remember learning a lot from Michael Crichton novels as a teenager, and in college from Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan.  This could broaden the appeal to a wider, more general audience, getting the door open for them to start thinking about these topics.  

     

    We keep having to print more of the booklets that accompany our Backyard Explorers program, so it's definitely grabbing kids attention.  I don't have any measurements and how much of the book they are using, but I can share my personal experience.  My family is caring for a fifth grader who never had anyone encourage her to focus on education until she came to stay with us.  When she watched the virtual program and saw the book, she wanted to go through everything.  I can't express how encouraging it was to see this young lady open her mind to learning and discovery, and doing so in a way that she didn't even realize it was happening.  I would challenge anyone to find another program that would get a "poor student" excited about learning such a topic.  

     
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    Nicole Colston
    Amy Alznauer
    Ayodeji Ibukun
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:52 p.m.

    I just love the way you described the project as a beautiful cycle from "scientist to library to student to nature".  Thank you for your comments!

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 09:37 a.m.

    Hi everyone on this project.

    What you describe seems to be a wonderful (and rare?) combination of university-public library-community activity.  Could you give me one specific example of how this complex relationship actually worked out in practice?

     
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    Ayodeji Ibukun
    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Michael Hull

    Michael Hull

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 11, 2021 | 11:17 a.m.

    I hope our Backyard Explorer team will jump into this conversation, but for me as director it's been watching OSU identify a great program our staff member, Heath, developed, and coming in to support it.  They not only provided feedback, but they helped develop a booklet to accompany the program and helped promote it.  Knowing that this program has been so well received has given our community pride, and they are more eager to participate because others have taken notice of what we are doing.  

     
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    Ayodeji Ibukun
    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:54 p.m.

    Thank for your interest George!  It was certainly a 'messy' process with over 57 people participating in planning at some level.  We have developed some processes for connecting the library to inquiry and real scientists that I can't wait to build on.

  • Icon for: Ayodeji Ibukun

    Ayodeji Ibukun

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 04:54 p.m.

    Hi everyone, thank you for your awesome comments and contributions!

    From my own perspective as an Educational Technology graduate research associate working part time in the Emerging Technology and Creativity Research Lab at OSU, the Spotty Rain Campaign project has continued to provide very exciting and articulate ways where the EdTech folks led by Dr. Tutaleni Asino have been showing how technological tools can be effectively deployed to support citizen / community science projects. 

    One of these ways is how our project team systematically designed and developed the ‘Make It Rain' Gauge from a web based Augmented Reality (AR) developers kit called Zappar. We also developed an AR booklet for librarians to serve as the installation guide for the ‘Make It Rain’ Gauge and to intimate aspiring citizen science volunteers on the next steps to take if they are interested in setting up weather observation stations in their backyards.

    Check out the AR Librarian Booklet and The 'Make It Rain' Gauge presented by our project team at the CSA, 2021 Virtual CitSci Conference as a poster.

    These technological tools such as AR and VR applications are very versatile in their application and majority of them can help citizen scientists to reach out to their communities, students or engage with volunteers. I am excited to learn more in this space, kindly share more cool educational or technological tools you have been using in one way or the other on your projects. 

    Thanks. 

    A.I. 

     
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    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 05:52 p.m.

    Hi Ayodeji,

    I'm trying to limit what I download, so I didn't download the Zappar app, can you describe it for me? (and maybe others?)

    George

     
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    Nicole Colston
    Ayodeji Ibukun
  • Icon for: Ayodeji Ibukun

    Ayodeji Ibukun

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 07:13 p.m.

    Hi George and everyone,

    The Zappar app is fantastic! I have been using it for more than 3 years now without any security flaws. To get a better description of Zappar, you can open our AR Librarian Booklet, I shared the same hyperlink earlier. If you cannot open it directly from the hyperlink, on your Internet browser type this link: www.flipsnack.com/ayoibukun/librarian-booklet-o.... Once the booklet is open go to page 5 where you can see the Zappar app logo (yellow, black and red colors) with a lightning bolt in the middle.

    The Zappar app will allow you to have an AR interface on your phone or any other compatible mobile device. This app interface uses your phone's or the mobile device's camera to scan any AR zap code embossed on a target such as the rain gauge. Alternatively from your desktop computer, you can try the web based link for the zap experience, I shared it earlier here  'Make It Rain' Gauge: https://webxr.run/X4NPQzQMn6elx 

    If you don't mind downloading  it, the app is one of the best ways for interacting with AR scenes or graphics created with Zap Works Studio from Zappar. All you need to do is to open the Zappar app on your device, then point your camera to the zap code, maintain focus for enough time to load the AR interface and the AR scenes will pop out of your phone's screen. Our current scene include multimedia content with some rain effects, thunderstorm sound effects, link to the Spotty Rain Campaign website and social media handles. 

    I am interested in using educational technology tools to aid citizen science projects, kindly share how you can utilize this experience or something similar to it for your STEM projects.

    Thank you for the feedback and do let me know if you have any other questions for me.

    A.I.     

     
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    George Hein
    Nicole Colston
    Amy Alznauer
  • Icon for: Michael Hull

    Michael Hull

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 12, 2021 | 09:34 a.m.

    The is the kind of resource provided by OSU that helps us as a library take our service to another level.  We don't have the staff time or expertise to create programming like this, and providing rain gauges can be costly.  Then there's the fact that this gets families, and not just children, thinking about rain, water, conservation, etc.  

     
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    Nicole Colston
    Ayodeji Ibukun
  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 12, 2021 | 09:22 a.m.

    Thanks, Ayodeji, just reading the rain gauge booklet gives me at least some understanding of what can be done.   It reminds me of a long ago project from TERC, where students measured the acidity of local water (ponds, streams, etc.) all over the US and sent the data to scientists who were concerned about acid rain in the US.  Are you getting data that can be shared among local projects?

     
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    Nicole Colston
    Ayodeji Ibukun
  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 13, 2021 | 09:36 a.m.

    Ayodeji - Thank you for these wonderful descriptions of your work with the AR rain gauge. Definitely CHECK OUT the library guide that I linked here and Ayodeji linked above.

    I really love this whole project and this little piece of it is a great example of your work.

     

     
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    Nicole Colston
    Ayodeji Ibukun
  • Icon for: Penny Thompson

    Penny Thompson

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 02:38 p.m.

    As a colleague of some of the team members, I was already familiar with a portion of this project, but it is great fun to see the part I know presented in the context of the larger effort. Nice work on the video!

     
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    Nicole Colston
  • Small default profile

    Fikayo Adewumi

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2021 | 08:18 p.m.

    Hi Team Members, I find your research area interesting; watching the video and going through your poster provided me more insight on the potentials of AR beyond the educational settings. Well-done!

     
    1
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    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:39 p.m.

    Thank you for you comment!  We are only beginning to understand the opportunities to connect scientists and youth in these virtual spaces.  

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Ekeoba

    Jacqueline Ekeoba

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 04:57 p.m.

    I love this! Thank you for sharing how you are using Citizen Science, which can be done safely during the pandemic. I have not considered using the aid of Librarians in exposing students to Citizen Science opportunities. 

    I also wanted to invite to view an informal STEM experience done at University of Houston: https://videohall.com/p/2031

     
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    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:38 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment. Your project is amazing and timely! Goosebumps for connecting in COVID using STEM challenges. 

    The library is a great place for starting your STEM explorations.

  • May 18, 2021 | 12:46 p.m.

    This is a very creative project, and the team is multi-disciplinary and committed to strong partnerships. Plus the libraries involved are showing terrific leadership as a network of community centers for learning. One of the things I really liked about the Backyard Explorers video I saw was that the librarian shows a full cycle of inquiry, starting with a real question a child emailed the program, then going to the shelves and finding some possibly relevant books, and going outside to ground-truth what seems to be some possible answers to the question. How often do we see that?! 

     
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    Nicole Colston
  • Icon for: Nicole Colston

    Nicole Colston

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:35 p.m.

    Thanks for the kind comment Sue!  We couldn't be more proud of the partnership with the library. I love at the end when Michael talks about connecting Backyard Explorers to university resources and scientists. There is some much interest on both sides to do programming together!

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