Teen Tech Tip of the Week #22: Crowdsourcing 
Interested in auditioning for the role of a guinea pig?? What if it were for a good cause, like science?



Amateur researchers and science enthusiasts have aided in scientific research projects for quite a long time. For example, members of the John James Audubon society have participated in bird counts to aid in conservation efforts for over a century.

This method called 'citizen science,' or 'crowdsourcing,' is the systematic collection and analysis of data. It can work in several different ways, like citizens collecting data for researchers to analyze or citizens analyzing the data that researchers have collected.

Below are some web applications that let you be the guinea pig and help science--consider it micro-volunteering!

EteRNA
Solve puzzles by shaping RNA nucleotides and help scientists unlock the secrets of genetics.

Polymath Blog
This one is for all you math-letes out there. This project posts mathematical equations and relies on the crowd to solve them.

Encyclopedia of Life
We looked at EOL in Tip #15. Now you can help by contributing or checking the accuracy of species photos.

Foldit
This science-project-turned-gamed aims to study the nature of protein structures with the hope of classifying new virus-fighting or CO2-cleaning proteins.

Zooniverse
Here you will find more than a dozen research projects broken into the following categories: space, climate, humanities, nature, and biology.

As a sneak peak, Facebook will soon release an app that let's members 'like' a certain whale shark and track conservation efforts.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #21: Making Your Own Video Games 
Welcome back to the blog. We took a week or so off to wrap everything up with the Louisville Young Filmmakers Festival, and we had a blast! This week we are looking at some cool sites that allow you to make you own video games.



Game Makers


Here are some websites that allow you to make and share games with friends:

Scratch
Sploder
Alice

Resources to Get You Started


Some of the sites above require you to know a little computer coding, so here are some resources to get you started in the right direction:

Game Maker Academy
Learn Scratch

For more on coding, be sure to check the library's event calendar online.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #20: Green Screen Fun 
Welcome back to the blog after a bit of a break. Today we will discuss how to use a green screen and make some movie magic.


(Patrick Fitzgerald, Beargrass Media Director, giving a discussion on green screen magic at this past weekends' community-led workshop as part of the Louisville Young Filmmakers Festival)

Using Chroma Key


Using a green screen is a fairly simple process that can be done with a green cloth or brightly painted wall.

First, record a person or subject in front of the green screen and add it your video editing software. Next, you will need to utilize a tool called chroma key to remove the green leaving just the subject. (Tip: don't wear clothing that is the same color as the green screen, or else the background will bleed through.)

Next, add another background image or video clip in the same time frame on the storyboard of your video editing software to place the actor in a new background. (If you zoom in on your actor, be sure to zoom in on the background to match.) Adjust your sound levels and export your clip.

Free Video Editing Software


Here are some freely-downloadable software programs that have a chroma keyer:

Lightworks
Wax 2.O

For more information, be sure to check out some of the many video tutorials available on YouTube.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #19: Film Tech 
Welcome back to the blog! With the 85th Academy Awards just around the corner (and the Louisville Young Filmmakers Festival!) we thought that it would be nice to look at some free web apps to help you get the most out of your Oscar experience for 2013.



Oscars App


Learn more about this year's nominees, cast your guesses with your friends on Facebook, and follow along with the winners. Available on: Android, Kindle Fire, and iOS

IMDB


Look up information on any movie, actor, or director. Watch trailers and find release dates for new movies. Available on: Web, Android, Kindle Fire, and iOS

Flixster


Find out show times for movies, what is playing at a theater near you, read reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, and look up release dates on DVD. Available on: Web, Android, Kindle Fire, and iOS


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Teen Tech Tip of the Week # 18: Weather Tech 
We were planning on saving this one until the spring, but due to last week's interesting weather developments (tornadoes and snow in the same week!), we thought that it would be a good idea to share it now. Let's take a look at some tech to keep you safe during inclement weather.



Weather Forecast on the Web


Get up-to-date weather information and what to expect for your area on the web:

Weather Underground
Weather Channel
NOAA

Weather Apps


Take weather information with you and get updates on the go with these mobile apps:

Weather Channel

Weather Underground

AccuWeather


Weather Blogs


For a more in depth look at weather forecasts (including map data), check out these weather blogs from local news teams:

Fox41 Weather Blog
Wave3 Weather Blog
WHAS11 Storm Team Blog


Social Media


Meteorology is field that relies heavily upon data recorded from Doppler radar stations (pictured above) to forecast weather. Eyewitness accounts are also very important, because they allow meteorologists to verify what data suggests may be happening in an area.

Social media is taking over that process in a very interesting way. Check for your favorite local meteorologist or the National Weather Service on Facebook or Twitter. You can receive updates in your news feed and see photos/video of weather events happening in your area. This may provide for quicker and more direct safety preparedness. You can also contribute as an eyewitness, but make sure that you exercise safety above all else.

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