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Insects Inspire Young Engineers at Science Action Club

This article appeared in the February 5, 2016 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

Insects Inspire Young Engineers at Science Action Club

A Madigascar Hissing Cockroach


By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise

Last Saturday, a group of eager 6th-8th graders poured over satellite images of cloud cover from NASA, comparing them to their own observations. This critical step of a process called ground truthing relies on citizen scientists to provide data that will help NASA refine the accuracy of their satellite technology. It’s also one of the exciting components of the Science Action Club (SAC), a joint project of the California Academy of Sciences and Explorit Science Center.

Explorit Science Center is recruiting students (6th-8th grade) to join the next installment of the Science Action Club coming to Explorit this spring. Designed by the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the SAC promotes student engagement in hands-on, citizen science activities in collaborations with NASA and iNaturalist.

In January, students learned about clouds and their role in weather patterns through a series of workshop activities. They studied different cloud formations and measured percentages of cloud cover, plus submitted cloud observation data to NASA!

Later in the spring SAC students will delve into the world of insects and other arthropods, contributing data to iNaturalist and discovering the many ways we can learn from insect adaptations and behavior. Investigations of the natural world and mastery of the scientific process including hypothesizing and data collection will expose students to the daily process of doing science and give them a taste of a scientific career!

The SAC will consist of a series of workshops hosted at Explorit later this spring where we will begin our investigation of insects and our Citizen Science collaboration with iNaturalist. Students must be able to attend all workshops on “Insects” in order to participate in the Science Action Club. Dates for the “Insects” workshops will be announced soon.

There is no fee for the workshops. Please note that student participation in the Science Action Club requires attendance at all workshops so that accurate observations and data collections can be made. Interested students can register for SAC by calling Explorit at (530) 756-0191 or emailing Explorit’s SAC Coordinator, Alfreda Wei, at

Don’t miss out on this amazing, free opportunity to participate in real scientific research with iNaturalist!




Explorit’s coming events:


  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition!
  • Exporit’s next evening lecture is Thursday March 3, 7 p.m. “Blue-Green Algae: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!” by Dr. Annaliese Franz and Dr. Bob Poppenga at DMG MORI 3805 Faraday Ave., Davis.
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up!
  • Birthdays are back at Explorit!  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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