The US White House is holding its annual Science Fair this week and is celebrating all sorts of commitments to STEM education and citizen science. Public Lab is highlighted for increasing the ability of more members of the public to participate in the scientific process. Live feed for the event at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair
Here are two generally interesting announcements:
a CoCoRaHS sensor will be installed in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will convene a Citizen Science Forum before the end of 2015 with Federal agencies and external organizations to co-develop a vision for cross-sector scaling of citizen science and crowdsourcing
and two awesome announcements about Public Lab and partners!
Putting 6,000 new, low-cost, accessible sensors and measurement kits in the hands of community environmental researchers to enable residents to identify pollution affecting their own backyards: The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) commits to welcoming 1,000 new community members into the development and application of low-cost accessible tools for environmental research. Two new tools will be launched in the Open Water, Land and Air program areas: a conductivity / temperature / depth sensor, and an Oil Testing Kit. With these tools added to the four already in the Kits Initiative, residents can easily identify pollution affecting their own backyard, such as citizen-led aerial monitoring of urban wetlands restoration projects funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and share the results through our online software and archive. Since 2010, the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science has grown into a diverse, global community of 5,000 members including scientists, filmmakers, technologists, anthropologists, community organizers and local residents across the United States and the world working for environmental health justice.
Creating a new Citizen Science Tool lending library to loan thousands of research tools annually, enabling more than 50,000 people the opportunity to participate in scientific inquiry: SciStarter and Public Lab are working in collaboration with the Museum of Science Boston and Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society, to connect citizen scientists to data collection tools via a Citizen Science Tool Library. Public Lab’s local lending libraries and Kits Initiative will engage with SciStarter’s network and broad project taxonomy to create the infrastructure and the opportunity for 50,000 more people to participate in scientific inquiry. This partnership will broaden the scope of tools available to the schools and the general public by distributing and loaning thousands of research tools per year.
Full PDF here (we're on page three!) https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/citizen_science_backgrounder_march-23.pdf