Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Real Science in Virtual School Labs

15.05.2012
Up-to-date marine data enables students to carry out scientifically valid virtual experiments. The method yields insights on how scientific knowledge is created and developed, according to research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg followed upper-secondary students from the Swedish town of Lysekil for one year. The study was part of the research project I2I, Inquiry to Insight.

Using scientific data provided by the marine researchers involved in the project, the students explored the marine environment of the Gullmar Fjord on the Swedish west coast. The students used a virtual ocean acidification lab to conduct studies on acidification of the marine environment, studies with impressive validity based on the latest authentic data.

The method of using virtual tools has a high level of applicability and can be used in a wide range of learning situations, within both the natural and social sciences. The main point of using the method is that it makes students truly understand how scientific knowledge is created.

‘It’s a fast, safe and cheap way to get the work done, in contrast to expensive and sometimes dangerous science labs in schools. It’s based on authentic research results that the students can compare with their own results. The experiments allow students to for example simulate the future, and they can stop what they’re doing at the end of a class and pick up where they left off a week later. That’s perfect in a school context,’ says Senior Lecturer Annika Lantz-Andersson.

The Gothenburg researchers believe that the methods used in Lysekil could work well on a national scale thanks to the ample access to scientific data and cheap virtual tools.

The project partners at Stanford University in USA assessed the knowledge levels of more than 500 students before and after using the virtual lab. Their results enabled the researchers in Gothenburg to study how the students developed an understanding of scientific work and concepts. Now the researchers are trying to learn more concretely how virtual lab students work to find answers and discuss how studies and experiments should be designed to yield new knowledge. This work is based on about 25 hours of video-taped student interaction in the lab environment.

One conclusion that confirms previous research on digital tools is that the work of the teacher is extremely critical to successful learning.

‘The way that the teacher introduces a lab session is crucial, and it is important to realise that computer software is not by any means self-instructive. The teacher needs to actively challenge the students’ understanding and give them a chance to ponder over what the virtual experiments are meant to represent. The teacher’s communication with the students is very important in order to avoid that the virtual experiments end up being just another abstract computer task,’ says Lantz-Andersson.

For more information please contact:
Senior Lecturer Annika Lantz-Andersson, Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Telephone: +46 (0)31–786 2275
Mobile: +46 (0)705 464 755
E-mail: annika.lantz-andersson@ped.gu.se
Personal webpage: http://www.ipkl.gu.se/kontakt/personal/annika_lantz-andersson/
Project Coordinator: Géraldine Fauville, The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Telephone: +46 (0)31 786 95 18
E-mail: geraldine.fauville@loven.gu.se
Personal webpage: http://www.letstudio.gu.se/members/geraldine-fauville/

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.letstudio.gu.se/members/geraldine-fauville/
http://www.ipkl.gu.se/kontakt/personal/annika_lantz-andersson/

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>