Yuri’s Night and Science Cheerleader are going into space! (And read on for how you could be involved…)

And read on for how you could be involved…From Yuri’s Night, celebrating the anniversary of manned space flight!
12 March 2013

Our newest affiliate is Science Cheerleader, a group of over 250 current and former professional cheerleaders who “playfully challenge stereotypes, turn everyone onto science by encouraging participation in citizen science activities, and inspire young women (including 3-4 million U.S. cheerleaders) to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math.” We’re pleased to join forces with Science Cheerleader, and we’re just as excited to help them out with a scientific project that’s bound for the International Space Station.

Yuri’s Night is working with Science Cheerleader and their sister site, SciStarter, on Project MERCCURI, an investigation anchored by the University of California Davis of how microbes in buildings on Earth compare to those found on the International Space Station. Students and citizen scientists are encouraged to collect microbial samples from public venues such as stadiums or schools and from cell phones and other mobile communication devices; these samples will be sequenced and analyzed at UC Davis, and compared to samples from the ISS. In addition, some samples will be selected to fly to the ISS this September to compete in a “microbial playoffs” growth competition on the Station itself.

Project MERCCURI (Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on ISS) will officially kick off on April 11th, so this is the perfect chance to collect a sample at your Yuri’s Night event–and at least one Yuri’s Night sample is guaranteed to fly on the ISS! If you’re hosting a Yuri’s Night event in a major U.S. city, there’s a good chance there’s a Science Cheerleader near you who’s available to participate:

For more information about Project MERCCURI, visit the SciStarter web site, and be sure to contact Darlene@ScienceCheerleader.com if you’d like to participate or have a Science Cheerleader at your party.

We hope you’ll help us advance science while you’re celebrating it at Yuri’s Night in April!

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