Update: We’re organizing a build party where you can build the cicada tracker on Saturday, April 13.
Cicadas appear in the Northeast every 17 years and you can help track when they will arrive:
Magicicada Brood II will make its 17-year appearance when the ground 8″ down is a steady 64° F. Help predict the arrival by planting a homemade temperature sensor in the ground and reporting your findings back to to WNYC. We’ll put them on a map and share your observations of this once-in-a-generation discovery with our entire community.
New York Public Radio–WNYC has launched a crowdsourced project to track when the cicadas will appear by inviting everyone to build home made soil temperature sensors. Their version is based on Arduino and kits readily available at Radio Shack, so the cost ($80) ended up on the high side.
We’ve created a cheaper version of the kit with just the essential components you need to measure soil temperature and track cicadas: a thermistor, a microcontroller, and 9 LEDs to display the temperature.
Stay tuned for news about upcoming Cicada Tracker build parties and how to buy the cheaper kit. If you’re desperate, you can buy the parts yourself from Digi-Key and come in to our Tuesday and Thursday open houses to get help building it.