Go-Lab – Building a global online science labs network for inquiry learning at school

The Go-Lab project will open up remote science laboratories, their data archives, and virtual models (“online labs”) for large-scale use in education. Go-Lab enables science inquiry-based learning that promotes acquisition of deep conceptual domain knowledge and inquiry skills and directs students to careers in science.

For students (10 to 18-years old), Go-lab offers the opportunity to perform personalized scientific experiments with online labs in pedagogically structured and scaffolded learning spaces that are extended with social communication facilities.

For teachers, Go-Lab offers pedagogical “plug, share, and play” through a Web-based interface and a community framework to disseminate best practices and find mutual support. A modular approach and inquiry classroom scenarios promote a seamless incorporation of online labs into the classroom.

For lab-owners, Go-Lab provides open interfacing solutions to easily plug in their online labs, construct their virtual didactic counterparts, and share them in the Go-Lab federation of online labs. Go-Lab will thus promote their scientific activities.

The project starts with a set of online labs from worldwide renowned research organisations (e.g., CERN, ESA) and then from selected universities and, based on initial in-depth pilots, will gradually improve and expand its series of online labs and associated inquiry learning opportunities with the increasing contribution of teacher and lab-owner communities. More advanced and later versions will be evaluated and validated in large scale pilots. The Go-Lab project throughout Europe will expand the resources for teaching science in schools and provide more challenging, authentic and higher-order learning experiences for students. Its sustainability will come from the opportunity for the larger science education community to add new online labs. An open and Web-based community will capitalize on the ‘collective intelligence’ of students, teachers, and scientists.

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