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Chicago Innovation Award Winner

Adler Planetarium

Winner in: 2019, 2018
Winning Product: Zooniverse, The Aquarius Project
Winner Category: Collaboration
Industry: Civic and Education

Zooniverse, 2019

Zooniverse, a collaboration between the Adler Planetarium, the University of Oxford, and the University of Minnesota, is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. It is made possible by volunteers—1.8 million registered users around the world—who come together to assist professional researchers whose work would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets which are useful to the wider research community, and numerous publications.

 

The Aquarius Project, 2018

An unprecedented collaboration among scientists and teen members at the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum began Feb. 6, 2017 when a meteorite landed in Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The meteorite and where it landed triggered an encyclopedia of questions that gave birth to The Aquarius Project, the first systematic attempt at a freshwater meteorite recovery. And teenagers, primarily recruited from Chicago Public Schools, are in the vanguard of the project. Chris Bresky, Adler’s teen-programs specialist, tapped into an online discussion among Adler astronomers, which soon attracted scientists from NASA, cosmochemists and meteorite experts from the Field, marine biologists from the Shedd and engineers and astronomers from the Adler Planetarium. The project’s main goal is to provide students a chance to work hand-in-hand with scientists and like-minded peers across disciplines in authentic research.  If successful, the project will inaugurate a new method for detecting and recovering meteorites.

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