This project aims to increase the education and outreach activities of scientific experiments at U.S. universities and laboratories by providing infrastructure support and a program framework for a portfolio of coherent, collaborative online science education laboratories. The project maintains an online portfolio of educational laboratories suitable for a diverse range of disciplines and provides tools and support services to assist developers in creating these educational resources.
Interactions in Understanding the Universe (I2U2) supports and strengthens the education and outreach activities of scientific experiments at U.S. universities and laboratories by providing the framework on which a rich portfolio of coherent, collaborative online science education laboratories can be developed. It is developing an “educational virtual organization” that supports participating teachers, students, and laboratory content developers, and is poised to become a sustainable, long-running program to enhance the outcome of K-12 science education. The I2U2 collaboration of scientists, computer scientists and educators directly addresses the urgent national priority to grow and sustain the scientific workforce, and to promote the public’s appreciation of and support for the frontier scientific research and complex collaborations of our national scientific programs.
This proposal supports research on two questions:
1. Do students learn science practices through e-Labs, grid-enabled virtual investigations; specifically do they increase their skills in using technology as a tool for conducting science (skills that mirror real-world science), engage in scientific collaboration and increase their knowledge of related science and Grid concepts?
2. Does the Interactions in Understanding the Universe virtual learning community support teacher practices and development to enable students to learn science practices with the I2U2 cyber-enabled tools?