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Citizen Science – Turing Sunflowers and Wildlife Recording

November 9, 2012

Manchester Museum is currently involved in two Citizen Science projects – Turing sunflowers and Wildlife recording.

Citizen Science is science carried out by the public is e.g. in mass participation activities such as Turing’s Sunflowers, which invited people to grow sunflowers to analyse mathematical patterns in nature. In the Museum allotment we’ve been growing sunflowers to join in with Turing sunflowers project and the Alan Turing & Life’s Enigma exhibition which is on til 18 November.

The preliminary results of the Turing Sunflower project were presented at Manchester Science Festival – in case you missed it, including the Sunflowers Diary film by BBC Outreach, the wonderful Open Voice Community choir who sang a specially composed Fibonacci song so everyone went away singing Fibonacci numbers, you can catch the results here and the panel debate chaired by Paul Glendinning – there were some great questions!

The Museum is also involved with the Grey to Green project with Greater Manchester Local Record Centre to encourage and train local people to identify and record wildlife. The project operates across the whole of Greater Manchester with a particular focus upon residents in Tameside, Manchester, Salford and Wigan. You can find out more at this website, including some Manchester downloadable spotter sheets on butterflies, garden birds, grassland flowers, minibeasts and trees and shrubs.

There are lots of ways to get involved, and you can meet Matt Holker the outreach officer at the next Big Saturday at the Museum on 8 December or take part in a Millipedes and Centipedes identification course in Philips Park, Manchester. Last night at the Museum was the first in a six week wildlife recording course held at the Museum. Steve Atkins, from GMLRC introduced the course and then Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany gave an introduction to the Museum’s collections, including spiders collected from Clayton Vale in a Bioblitz earlier in the year and historic specimens, including an unusual pond weed collected in 1883 in a canal in Reddish.

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