Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
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.Continue reading Show less
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.
Key Standards Supported
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, identifying important issues that remain unresolved.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11–12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Key Standards Supported
Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
Matter and Its Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
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