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Nonprofit Creates Virtual Science Lab for K-12 Students

Nonprofit Creates Virtual Science Lab for K-12 Students

Students 2 Science, Inc., (S2S) has created a first-of-its-kind virtual science lab to bring hands-on science learning to K-12 students across the country.

Stepping Outside the Brick-and-Mortar Boundaries

It has launched the Virtual Laboratory Program (V-Lab), which is a "[w]eb-based, hybrid, distance learning program for K-12 students. It delivers high quality, standards-aligned inquiry-based, hands-on science education to students -- including those with special needs -- in classroom settings, as well as at hospitals and after-school programs," S2S said in a statement.

The V-Lab was conceptualized after S2S sought out ways to reach more students other than the ones in close proximity to the brick-and-mortar facilities it was previously providing.

Smart Partnerships Provide Network of Professional Scientists

Its partnerships with Connectivity, Inc and the American Chemical Society have helped it strengthen the content of its V-Lab program. Thanks to its partnership with the American Chemical Society, it has access to both use of its content and a network of professional scientists to act as mentors for participating K-12 students.

After a successful pilot program to over 500 participating students, a number with special needs, V-Lab will make its way into more schools this year.

Pilot Program Indicates Early Success

"Earlier this year, S2S piloted V-Lab in 11 New Jersey K-12 schools, as well as at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC). Based on its success and expressed demand, S2S's goal is to expand into an additional 10 to 15 schools with roughly 100 sessions, serving more than 2,500 students throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York," the statement said.

Hackensack University Medical Center was one of the participants of the pilot program; teachers at the center liked the program so much, they will continue using it for the next semester.

"The V-Lab experience was one the children won't soon forget," said Sarah Donnangelo, Coordinator of Educational Services, Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center. "It brought to them not only the fun and excitement of doing hands-on science experiments with real-live scientists, but also a sense of normalcy to their lives. We plan on hosting a V-Lab again this semester."

Read more about S2S and V-Lab here

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/08/2015

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