Guest post from Pop Warner cheer coach and seven-year-old cheerleader who participated in Project MERCCURI.

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Lake Brantley was honored to be selected by Mid Florida Pop Warner to participate in a Science Cheerleader event, which took place earlier this month.  We are fortunate enough to have been visited by Science Cheerleader Ashley Keegan, an employee at NASA and a former Orlando Magic Dancer.  Ashley talked with the girls about her work at NASA, the International Space Station, and the experiment they’re conducted.  Ashley even demonstrated her round off double back handspring to the delight of cheerleaders and parents alike!

Ashley and the Science Cheerleader program are involved in Project MERCCURI, an investigation anchored by the Eisen Lab at the University of California Davis of how microbes from buildings on Earth compare to those found on the International Space Station (ISS).  Over 4,000 samples will be collected and used to create a worldwide microbiome map, including samples from Lake Brantley Patriots’ shoes, cell phones and the Brantley Stadium itself.

Lake Brantley is thankful to Mid Florida for having been granted the opportunity to allow our cheerleaders to be a part of something bigger than our little community, and the girls were so excited to meet Ashley and show her our PATRIOT PRIDE!

Rebecca Viola
Cheer Coordinator, LBYFA

And here’s a sweet letter from a seven-year-old cheerleader who participated in the project: (Thanks, Kailyn and Rebecca!!)

On Saturday we had a game and a science cheerleader came to our field. We did a microbe project. Some of the microbes are going to the space station and some of it stayed on Earth. The project is called Project MERCCURI.

It was really fun.

We worked with partners for the project. Some of my friends from my cheer squad were there too. We needed a phone and that person’s shoe.

Meeting Ashley was really fun. She actually cheered for the Orlando Magic! Ashley also works at NASA and has a science job. She told us they are making a new space station. Ashley did a round off double back handspring! She was really amazing! I’m really happy she came to Lake Brantley!

Kailyn, 7 years old, Lake Brantley Patriots Pop Warner Tiny Mite 2013

See more posts about Science Cheerleader/Pop Warner citizen science activities here.