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Pros: Allows users to access current scientific research and communicate with working researchers.
Cons: The site's technology and content are likely too complex for all but the most advanced high school students.
Bottom Line: While not for everyone, this resource can be useful for advanced students conducting their own scientific research.
My Experiment will probably only be useful to high school students asked to design and conduct an experiment themselves. It's not going to be helpful with traditional cookbook labs. That said, IB or AP Science students doing design labs may find it especially helpful to see how others develop their research methods. It could also help students who are working together on extensive research projects.
Students can register for free, but they'll be asked to provide their names and email addresses. As such, be sure to notify parents about students' work on this site; when students register, be sure they don't check the “Make my email public” box.
My Experiment is a social networking site for scientists. While Facebook users might share photos or funny comments, scientists use My Experiment to share data and methods of research and investigation. Here, researchers create and share scientific workflows, which display every imaginable aspect of an experiment, including scientific procedures, data from the experiment, and resulting publications and presentations. This allows scientists from around the world to learn from one another and build on one another's research. Users can take others' workflows and modify them to make them their own.
This is a wonderful model of scientific communities working together to create understanding. In a classroom setting, however, teachers will want to make considerations for their students' level of understanding, as well as other issues like plagiarism.
At the time of this review, all workflows on My Experiment were from working scientists and college students. While having access to ongoing research can be an incredible experience for students, most of the work will be too advanced for the average high schooler. However, advanced, tech-savvy students writing a report or IB students writing an extended essay in one of the sciences may find the site very helpful for pulling together information from multiple Bioinformatics sites.
My Experiment assumes a certain level of tech and scientific expertise. No tutorials or tips are provided to support high school students or teachers. My Experiment is designed for scientists; it's recommended only for very advanced high school students.