Science Cheerleaders Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on February 18, 2014.
NBA 76ers game to feature interactive science exhibits on the concourse, halftime performance by the Science Cheerleaders, in-game citizen science project for research on the Space Station.
Citizen Science at the 76ers SciStarter Science Cheerleader
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (January 30, 2014) – Get ready for an explosion of science at the Philadelphia 76ers game on February 18. Science Cheerleader announces “Science at the Sixers,” taking place when the Sixers host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, February 18, at the Wells Fargo Center. 76ers fans can participate in several fun activities during this in-game event to celebrate and increase student and adult interest in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
The events are coordinated by “Science Cheerleader,” an organization of more than 250 current and former NBA and NFL cheerleaders pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. They playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire kids to consider careers in science and technology, and encourage everyday people to get involved in real science activities through citizen science projects at Science Cheerleader was founded by Darlene Cavalier, a former member of the Sixers Dream Team.
Science at the Sixers Activities
Game time: February 18, 7:00 pm at Wells Fargo Center (3601 Broad St., Philadelphia, PA)
Citizen Science on the Concourse: Engage with a dozen of the region’s most exciting research projects in need of your help. Interact with robots and sports-themed innovations developed by hometown scientists. 6:00pm pregame through halftime
Halftime performance by the Science Cheerleaders with special guest Buddy from The Franklin Institute
Catch a shirt and a microbe kit from the NBA’s most powerful t-shirt launcher and help with microbe sampling. Attendees will contribute to a citizen science research project on the International Space Station (Read about Project MERCCURI below)
Interactive Science Quiz on the JumboTron
50/50 Raffle to benefit the Philadelphia Education Fund and reward our Sixers Hometown Hero Award Recipient and Science Educator, Ambra Hook
Sneak Peak at what’s in store for the Philadelphia Science Festival this Spring!
To purchase discount tickets for this game, go to and enter SCIENCE.
Project MERCCURI: Comparing Microbes from Philly to Those in Space
During the game, fans will have the opportunity to participate in Project MERCCURI, a citizen science research project to compare microbes on Earth to those on the International Space Station. Microbe collection kits wrapped in T-shirts will be shot into the stands during a time out. Fans will use the kits at the game to swab their shoes and cell phones to collect microbes. Those samples will be sent to Argonne National Laboratory to be sequenced and added to the Earth Microbiome Project.
Meanwhile, astronauts at the International Space Station will be conducting tests on 48 microbes collected previously from Earth, including SEVEN from Philadelphia: the Liberty Bell, The Franklin Institute, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, WHYY, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Phillies stadium, 76ers stadium, and the Academy of Natural Sciences where microbes were collected by St. Peter’s School students. Learn more about the significance of these Philly microbes here!
Scientists from UC Davis and NASA hope to gain insights into what is living at the ISS, how microbes vary from different places on Earth and in space, and to compare growth of microbes on Earth and in microgravity. See for more information about this important and fascinating research.
Supporters of Science at the Sixers
Partnering organizations include The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Education Fund, SciStarter, and Science Cheerleader. Project MERCCURI is coordinated by Science Cheerleader, SciStarter, and UC Davis, in conjunction with the Argonne National Laboratory. The Project is made possible by Space Florida, NanoRacks, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
2/4 addition: Special thanks to Mayor Nutter, City of Philadelphia, for providing this testimonial, to be delivered during the 2/18 76ers game:

“Science at the 76ers is a great way to introduce and connect citizens of all ages to the fascinating world of science. Tonight, you can swab your shoes and your cell phone. Those swabs will be part of Project MERCCURI’s research to compare microbes on Earth to those in space. This project is just one small way that science happens in the world but there are countless others, like the physics principal behind an object in motion will stay in motion or the offensive charge. STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – are the in-demand fields of today and the demand for highly-skilled, well-educated STEM workers is only going to grow. Get involved in science and get ready for success. I want to thank the Philadelphia 76ers, SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Education Fund for making tonight possible. Go Sixers – bring home the win!”
Mayor Michael A. Nutter

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