Talmesha and Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Swab Microbes for Project MERCCURI

The following is a guest post by Science Cheerleader Talmesha.

On Tuesday October 29, 2013 I visited the place where I spent five years as a National Football League (NFL) cheerleader, Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field. I, along with current Redskins Cheerleaders Megan, Madison, and Amanda took to the field for some Project MERCCURI fun. The samples collected for Project MERCCURI will be used to create a microbiome map and also to compare microbes on Earth to those on the International Space Station.

It was a bit dark outside, but that did not stop us. We swabbed multiple parts of the stadium. Megan went first and swabbed one of the seats in the end zone. Amanda then swabbed a sign that promoted the National Football League’s Crucial Catch Campaign for breast cancer awareness. Lastly, Madison swabbed a Redskins logo on the football field.

Afterwards, we returned to the locker room to complete the other portion of the science project, swabbing cell phones and gameday boots. It was great to reunite with my former teammates and conduct citizen science.

We are all looking forward to the results.

Let’s go Redskins Microbes!

Editor’s note: We have some exciting news! The microbes collected by the Redskins cheerleaders were indeed selected to fly on the International Space Station! Learn more about the microbe sample here on its very own trading card.

Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness Banner

Washington Redskins cheerleader Amanda swabbing the Crucial Catch sign at FedEx Field

Redskins Cheerleader Swabbing

Amanda swabs her shoe in the FedEx Field locker room

Redskins Stadium Swabbing

Redskins Cheerleader Megan swabs an end zone seat for microbes at FedEx Field

Talmesha and Redskins Cheerleaders

Talmesha and Redskins cheerleaders out for a little late-night microbe swabbing

Talmesha Field Swabbing

Redskins cheerleader Madison swabs the Redskins logo

Talmesha Swabbing

Talmesha swabbing her shoes for microbes in the locker room