Six schools across the United States are participating in the Science Learning Network project as testbed schools. Each school is partnered with a nearby science center. Together, they are exploring the educational impact of telecomputing in the classroom. What happens if you install a local area network in a school, and equip each classroom with a powerful computer workstation that accesses the the Internet at high-bandwidth speed? Do the resources that hands-on science centers offer motivate teachers to try new ways of teaching? Can technology and hands-on learning co-exist in a K-8 classroom? How does the whole school change as a result?
During the Spring of 1996, SLN schools worked on classroom projects that integrated telecomputing with hands-on or inquiry-based learning. Some of the projects are documented online.
At Avocado Elementary School (partnered with the Miami Museum of Science), several kindergarten classes investigated hurricanes and created the Hurricane ABC website. It's especially meaningful for Avocado's students to investigate hurricanes. The school and its community were devastated by Hurricane Andrew.
At Buckman Elementary School (partnered with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), kindergarten, first and second grade students took their ABC's to outer space. They created the Space Alphabet Book to share everything that they learned about space. The fourth and fifth graders at Buckman investigated "The Human Body" and Creating Fountains.
At the Levering School (partnered with The Franklin Institute Science Museum), students in grades one, four, five, six, seven, and eight were involved in investigating an area of science. Each of the Spring Projects involved using online resources, communicating through a project mailbox and whiteboard, and publishing the results of their investigations.
At the Museum Magnet School (partnered with the Science Museum of Minnesota), the fourth grade students created Motion Machines and Zoo Machines, inventions that make life so much easier.
To learn more about the Science Learning Network (SLN), visit http://www.sln.org.
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