03 October 2011

The Science Cheerleaders at HESTEC Community Day 2011

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about the Science Cheerleaders. It was one of the first of many posts around the science blogosphere about the team, and one of my more widely read posts, I think.

Little did I know that less than a year later, I would be sharing the stage with them.

I was so pleased to work with the Science Cheerleaders at HESTEC Community Day. The weather was cooler than normal - rain for the first time in a long time! - but there were still consistently good crowds to see the Science Cheerleaders’ show.

I was able to surprise them when they learned that even though none of them had been to UTPA before, they had a connection with us. The cameraman on their popular YouTube video, Brandon Garcia, was a UTPA alumnus.

After each show, I talked a little bit about the Craywatch citizen science project that I have at the Science for Citizens website. I did it a little differently each time, but the last time I said something like, “You know what cheerleading has in common with science? You have to work hard at it to get good. I went to school a long time to become a professional scientist, and you might think you can’t do science if you don’t have fancy degrees. No! All you need is an inquiring mind and a willingness to learn. If you don’t like crayfish, there are hundreds of other real research projects that you can help with.”

The Cheerleaders got asked to be part of a lot of photographs, and signed almost as many autographs.

This tiara’d women is Laura Eilers, the choreographer.

Ringleader Darlene Cavalier takes a picture.

Thanks so much to Darlene, Laura, Melissa, Heidi, Sammi Jo, Sandra, Ada (making her Science Cheerleading debut, if I remember right) for letting me be part of the act.

Hooray for the Science Cheerleaders!

Additional: The view from the cheering side.

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