Science in your back garden: not just for kids anymore

Science In Your Back Garden: it sounds like the name of some book that one uncle of yours would give you as a Christmas present. You know, the kind of book that would inspire your young, squishy mind to abandon the Sisyphean quest of biting crackers in half on the seam and foment the foundations […]

Elizabeth Meade
22nd November 2020

Science In Your Back Garden: it sounds like the name of some book that one uncle of yours would give you as a Christmas present. You know, the kind of book that would inspire your young, squishy mind to abandon the Sisyphean quest of biting crackers in half on the seam and foment the foundations of Wonder and Curiosity in your worldview. But fear not: although we are beyond conceptualizing long division with plastic beads and wooden pegs, there are still many university-level science projects one can do, even in lockdown.

Nottingham Astronomy PhD candidate Joel Miller has done just that. At the age of 25, he has filmed Mars rotating from his backyard. His tools? A telescope and a DSLR camera. Citing the pandemic for giving him more time to appreciate the night sky, Miller has created a video of his footage that can be viewed here: Student ‘blown away’ after capturing Mars from garden

If you don't have the budget or expertise to create that type of set up, fear not. There are plenty of projects you can complete at home, including density towers, making natural dyes, and even the legendary spaghetti-marshmallow structure. (I shamelessly held a socially-distanced spaghetti-marshmallow contest for my 20th birthday. It's harder than it looks.)

Popular online citizen science communities

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Sites such as Make and Zooniverse provide instructions for technological and citizen science activities for everyone from the beginner to the graduate with 5 degrees. With Zooniverse, you can even contribute to real research from your computer, including projects about antibiotics, mice, gravity and many more topics. Whatever your interests, there are plenty of ways for the scientifically-curious to stay engaged with this topic during the pandemic.

Featured Image: AlexAntropov86 on Pixabay

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AUTHOR: Elizabeth Meade
Science sub-ed and Chemistry major. Avid reader. Chaos theorist. Amateur batrachologist and historian. Rock fan. Likes cybersecurity and cooking.

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