Cloud Hunters Specialists (“Look Up – Cloud Hunters” Competition)

For the 2022 STEM Discovery Campaign, projects “GLOBE Program Elementary K-4″ and “Science Picnic/Znanstveni piknik 2022” announced their first competition – The “Look Up – Cloud Hunters”! The contest allowed the children and teachers to explore the possibilities of the mobile application „GLOBE Observer“ (GO App) https://observer.globe.gov/about/get-the-app by observing clouds and atmosphere conditions and taking photos of interesting clouds by mobile phone camera or tablet as an art activity with STE(A)M approach. 

The competition was based on the methodology of the international GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) and using the GLOBE Observer application (GLOBE®). More about the GLOBE Program: https://www.globe.gov/about .

GLOBE Vision: “A worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists, and citizens working together to better understand, sustain, and improve Earth’s environment at local, regional, and global level.”

GLOBE Mission: “To increase awareness of individuals throughout the world about the global environment, contribute to an increased scientific understanding of the Earth, and support improved student achievement in science and mathematics.”

The “Look Up-Cloud Hunters” Competition is a non-profit initiative of the international project “GLOBE Program Elementary K-4” (https://bit.ly/3xwbhN2), together with the project “Science Picnic / Znanstveni piknik 2022” (http://znanstvenipiknik.weebly.com/).

The project “GLOBE Program Elementary K-4” was launched in June 2021 as an unofficial activity of the international “GLOBE Program”. Science Picnic / Znanstveni piknik is a 2-day science popularization event that gathers dozens of associations, schools and institutions that present their science popularization activities to thousands of visitors. The event celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2021. The “Look Up-Cloud Hunters” competition was coordinated by three Croatian non-governmental organizations: Professor Balthazar Association, Amateur Scientists Association, OUI (Empower-perfect-integrate for development). 

The competition duration was from 25 April to 29 April 2022. The formal promotion of the competition started just a few days before the start of the competition, and despite the short period for the promotional activities, the competition was successful. Thankfully to the #SDC22 team, we overcame some technical difficulties and succeeded to organise the competition in time. Special thanks to a very active member of the GLOBE community, Mr. Brian Andrew Campbell (https://smdepo.org/user/211 ) NASA Senior Earth Science Education Specialist from Wallops Space Flight Center, for helping with the promotion of the competition internationally.

Twelve elementary/kindergarten teachers from four countries responded to the Call (5 elementary schools and 7 kindergartens). Only a few of them are already GLOBE schools, but the observations were made by citizen science accounts on the GO App.

One kindergarten in that short period joined officially The GLOBE Program and also the international project “GLOBE Program Elementary K-4”. Two kindergarten teachers wrote the #SDC blog about cloud activities.

For many of them, it was the first encounter with the international “GLOBE Program”, “GLOBE Observer” app, the citizen science movement, and also with Scientix and the #SDC22. Teachers, over a very short period, managed to get through the vast sea of information contained in the “Terms and conditions” document of the “Look Up – Cloud Hunters”- Competition. All those great teachers together with children, and some parents joined a 5-day journey of a cloud hunting activity and managed to catch 65 artistic photos of clouds in different locations on planet Earth. 43 photos were taken during the activities with teachers. 22 photos were taken by children with their parents (some parents joined the GLOBE Observer measurements), and some of the photos even got the names: “Heart”, “Shark”, “Boot”, “Train”… 

About the data and measurements:

We were informed about 30 measurements submitted by GLOBE Observer App, 5 schools/kindergartens decided to join the “Look Up-Cloud Hunters” GLOBE Observer’s Team and as a team submitted 10 observations in the period from 25 April to 29 April 2022. The rest of them sent us a screenshot of the observation on the GO App.

Observed data were: 

Overal Sky Conditions observations-Total sky:

  • Cloud cover: No clouds, Few, Isolated, Scattered, Broken, Overcast
  • Color of the sky: blue, deep blue, light blue, pale blue
  • Sky clarity: Unusually clear, Clear
  • Opacity: opaque, translucent, transparent

Clouds and contrails: 

  • High-level clouds: Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus; no contrails were spotted
  • Middle-level clouds: Altocumulus, Altostratus 
  • Low-level clouds: Stratus, Stratocumulus Cumulus
  • Rain cloud: Cumulonimbus

Surface conditions spotted: Standing water, Dry ground, Leaves on Trees, Muddy

An example of citizen science GO App observation screenshot

The aim of the competition was not only to introduce a wider audience to different science concepts represented by different organizations and projects, but also to encourage people to go outside and open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them, and widen their perception of the synergy and diversity of phenomena on the planet Earth. By doing competition activities, all the teachers and children contributed to helping worldwide scientists and NASA for a better understanding of the Earth as a harmonious system. We hope it also helps to expand the mindset of students aged 5-11 years regarding the reflection on sustainable future and scientific methodology and to broaden civic competencies. So, we can announce that all participants of the “Look Up – Cloud Hunters”- Competition 2022 are winners and deserve the title “Cloud Hunters Specialists”!

Check out some beautiful photos recorded by 5-11 years old children on the Wakelet collection 2022 STEM Discovery Campaign-STEM for All “Look Up – Cloud Hunters Competition”: https://wke.lt/w/s/UgZ9de

2022 STEM Discovery Campaign-STEM for All – “Look Up – Cloud Hunters” Competition- Wakelet collection

Do the GLOBE Observer, be a citizen scientist, play with STEM activities, appreciate nature and let it be STEM for All!

More Atmosphere K-4 resources:

Vesna Lampić, Amateur Scientists Association

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