BELFAST, Maine (WABI) – The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance brought together more than 200 students for their WeatherBlur project.
“The WeatherBlur Project is a citizen science project that brings together students, teachers, scientists, and community members from all across the state to investigate local scientific questions that they have,” said Executive Director Ruth Kermish-Allen.
The project was available for kids in kindergarten through 8th grade. Students have been collecting data on a number of local issues.
“We’ve been going to beaches and collecting samples in little tubs and filtering through them to find plastics,” explained 5th grader Gabe Holmes.
“They’ve been investigating beach trash, they’ve been investigating micro plastics, they’ve been investigating weather events, and today they’re sharing their findings with the rest of these communities,” said Kermish-Allen.
Many of the students view the project as a way to help out their hometowns while also gaining a valuable, hands-on education in science.
“It sort of ties science back to life in a way that just working in a classroom doesn’t,” said 7th grader Hazel Van Dis. “You get to actually do stuff instead of just learning about it.”
Folks at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance say the students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the research.
“These kids have great expertise about their own communities and where they come from that, honestly, scientists are hungry for,” said Kermish-Allen. “And so this opportunity and this project really tries to give them that opportunity to get excited about it, to share their expertise, and provide a real valued service to the scientific community.”