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11. Lab4U Blog

Lab4U Talks Episode 4: Catalyzing STEM Education for the Next Generation of Scientists and Problem Solvers

In the previous episode we talked about how we must reset the way we teach science, which is vital for our entire future and especially considering the current context we are living in.

For Lab4U it is of utmost importance to foster conversations about how to improve science education and  what tools will we leverage to train students interested in science to ask questions and acquire better skills from science to solving the problems of the coming decades.

In this fourth episode, Komal talks with James Caras, a leader in STEM education, a mentor and advisor at Lab4U, a serial ed-tech entrepreneur and a brilliant scientist and educator, who is also CEO/Co-Founder of Catalyst Education, where here they are helping hundreds of science educators and faculty members with their solutions that allows educators and instructors inspire students to become the next generation of scientists and problem solvers.

In addition, he founded Sapling Learning, which was later acquired by Macmillan and continues to impact millions of science educators worldwide.

Don’t miss out on an important conversation about how, through the right methodologies and tools in STEM education, students in schools and universities, currently supporting the formation and training of the new generation of scientists.

Episode outline:

  • 00:00: Presentations
  • 04:00: Teaching students the love of science
  • 11:00: How has this experience been lived in education in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • 13:30: Why is this not just virtual labs or a virtual experience? What’s the difference between real experimentation and virtual labs? 
  • 15:30: The development of virtual laboratories as a learning platform
  • 21:00: What has happened in STEM education  considering COVID-19?
  • 25:00: Conclusions and learnings
This opens different perspectives for the students, who, in James’ words, are tired, overwhelmed and afraid to feel that many times it is a waste of time to explore and learn the use of new technology that allows the development of virtual classrooms, virtual labs and virtual conversations that are far from the environment that the schools lived before the crisis of COVID-19.

Involving students in science

The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed experimentation with science education, so that today’s students can learn to use software that allows them to acquire knowledge in science and get involved, along with the entire school community, in forming a much more empowered perspective, regarding issues related to the use of digital technologies and distance learning.

In Lab4U we know how important and crucial it is to prepare students, teachers and members of the academic bodies of universities, especially those that teach science to students, to build platforms that allow the development of an education in the service of science.

James Caras, in his conversation with Komal, explained that being persistent in learning this topic with students, considering how difficult this situation is for many people, has allowed us to know the concerns and challenges that universities and science departments have in experimenting with scientific learning from different platforms.

Leading the challenge of teaching science

Some of the main topics discussed in this episode were:

  • Skill development for students and instructors in science education
  • Student experiences in learning with virtual laboratories versus real experiments and real data
  • Challenges of science in education for future generations.

About how students are experiencing the challenge of teachers and academics to teach them the use of new skills and tools, this was commented by James Caras, as part of a search for different topics, especially in the development of chemistry or technology courses.

The development of this technology is linked to the way in which students arrive at the learned contents, being this a challenging task for the teachers. In many occasions, these topics linked to science can remain incomplete if there is not a feedback, being transcendental the search of results, hypothesis raising and visibility of the experiments.

An experience that becomes a legacy

From James Caras’ experience, it can be understood that strengthening science education requires several challenges to make the student experience as enriching as it would be in the absence of a pandemic.

Nevertheless, with or without COVID-19, science in education has allowed, with the virtual and remote modality as the way to practice education during the last months, the development of the spaces to learn science such as virtual laboratories.

This has been a coordinated work between instructors and students, regarding the assimilation and understanding of the software’s management, through the correct instructions, content and specific material. In this way, the learning has allowed to deliver the skills that are needed more efficiently and quickly in the teaching of these topics.

Thus, the virtual experience when entering a laboratory is key in the development of the learning process and in facing challenges regarding the answering to problems, formulating hypotheses and acquiring theories that are also at the service of scientific knowledge, as has been the work of James Caras during his implementation of this technology.

The value of this knowledge and learning is paramount in the way we deal with the acquisition of science for ourselves and our future. As the education currently being delivered, the role of science has not yet been projected with the acuity that one would expect, and therefore Lab4U makes available this and other topics to be in tune with today’s need to rethink science education.

What can we continue to learn from this technology in education?

According to James Caras, it is crucial that learning to train future science professionals is accompanied by a good experience in the online setting, because students are currently tired and the current context has overwhelmed both them and teachers.

That is why it is so important that there is a concern to strengthen skills that scientists need to develop in order to solve problems, keeping in mind what is necessary for the future of the workforce One of the opportunities that the handling of this technology has had is the construction of a structural design of the content that is being delivered by the instructors, being key the formation in the virtual classroom and the vision that in the future these generations can develop to the challenges of putting education as a link for a science that is closer and adaptable to the advancing times.

Experiencing science in virtual mode is what allows us to continue learning with enough tools for students, teachers and educational communities to consider factors such as the use of new technologies and virtuality to bring much closer the vision they may have about science to the debate, which, despite the distance, must exist as a part of the educational process.

In this challenge of transformation that students and teachers have experienced in recent times, some skills must be more stimulated, since the management and performance of these platforms are the engine of a reality that we can not fail to consider in strengthening scientific activities in the classroom.

Therefore, in Lab4U we want students to feel that they are progressing and not wasting their time with this virtual modality, and thus continue to empower and deliver skills to professionals, teachers and members of the schools so that this process is one of understanding, learning and living science.

Valuing scientific knowledge, the delivery of support material and the management of a team of professionals who teach future generations is crucial and a priority for Lab4U in generating a change in the necessary direction to deliver knowledge in a time as complex as this.

Related post

Lab4U Talks. Episode 3: Resetting the way we teach science is vital for all our future

Lab4U’s 2020 Impact and more to come in 2021

An unforgettable year in many ways, these unprecedented times have united us as never before, science education has never been more important and our impact is changing paradigms. 

Despite having faced a strange and difficult year, we are proud to share with our community all the good things that have happened at Lab4U.

These are the most outstanding events that we can highlight of 2020: 

Lab4U’s Impact: A year in review 

We are very happy and satisfied with what has been accomplished this year, and we want to share some milestones that have given us conviction to continue working for science education with teachers and students.

We have impacted 13K new students and 4K new teachers during this year, taking science education to places where not much is known about it and empowering teachers and students to enhance their knowledge, tools and skills.

Our community has initiated more than 70,000 new experiments throughout 2020, demonstrating that it is increasingly possible to bring the joy of experimentation and discovery while learning science during a pandemic in a remote environment. 

70K NEW EXPERIMENTS INITIATED DURING 2020 

We are proud to share that we have had more than 20 webinars with 1600 educators: that’s more than 30 hours of sharing!  Thanks for the NPs 94, we continue to work to improve our content and experiences. Thank you for that love and for listening to us as part of your routines in this difficult moment in history. We want to bring science education closer to you!

Relive our main public webinars on YouTube

We have brought you 10 new episodes of Lab4U Talks, generating important conversations about how to face science education in the present moment. Our episodes of Lab4U Talks have been played a total of 1011 times between the English and Spanish podcasts during the year. Relive our best conversations at https://lab4u.co/en/blog/.

We are grateful to our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) partners such as CEMEX and the US Embassy in Mexico for sponsoring a  project to impact the future of the workforce in STEM education in Mexico. That means having 40 teachers and 5K students in 5 states of that country. We are very grateful to our partners  for empowering the next generation of STEM professionals, because we know that empowering this type of education is the only tool to change the way science is taught around the world.

Never stopped growing our product 

Growing up in times of crisis, that’s what this summary should be called. Someday, we had to experience that at Lab4U. We grew in content, product, we expanded our audience and we are happy to share with you some of the new experimental tools and new products launched and to be launched… 

This year we have developed more than 25 new experiments between Lab4Physics, Lab4Chemistry, Lab4Brains and Lab4Biology, being the most visited experiments of the year: Moonwalk, Accelerated Learning with Newton and Pirate Ship!

Our good old friend Lab4Physics grew in audience and experiments. Plus we could add a new category of experiment! This year allowed us to continue exploring new tools and possibilities to show students science. Among those tools we have today Lab4Brains, a new collaborative project between Braintoys and Lab4U that becomes the tangible demonstration of the importance of developing skills in these times.

 * Only available in Chile (Mexico and US coming soon)

Lab4Chemistry has new experiments and Marie Curie is happy!

With our patented technology, students can discover colorimetry in exciting new ways using their own mobile devices. Lab4Chemistry uses the power of a smartphone or tablet’s camera to determine color and concentration of chemical solutions. 

Only in Chemistry we have introduced 11 new experiments in 3 categories: Chemical reactions, acid-base and chemical kinetics, besides presenting a new tool: Color Inspector. Thank you CORFO for being a step towards our growth. In 2019 we had 8 experiments and 2 categories. This year we have more than 20 experiments in 5 categories! Marie Curie is happy! 

Because we want teachers to continue learning and developing skills to bring inquiry science education knowledge to thousands more students during 2021, we invite you to review our newly designed Teacher’s Portal with more content and tools. 

And last but not the least … Drumrolls …

By march 2021, Lab4Biology will allow students to explore microscopy using only their smartphone camera with our new tool: Analyscope.

Recognitions & Lab4U in the media 

HundrED to ED Tech Solutions 2020-2021

This year we feel honored to have been awarded with the recognition HundrED to ED Tech Solutions, an award (2020-2021) that congratulated Lab4U because it turns smartphones into pocket labs and empowers educators to teach inspiring science classes based on inquiry and exploration. 

MIT Solve TPrize With great recognition we also took the MIT Solve Tprize, who noted that: “Lab4U is democratizing access to a quality science education in Latin America. By leveraging smartphone technology that millions of students around the world have in their pocket, Lab4U is giving millions of students around the world access to a hands-on science education. Lab4U supports science educators with tools and methodologies to put their students at the center of the learning process”. Thanks!!

LATAM EdTech 100 HolonIQ’s

We also want to share our joy for being considered as part of LATAM EdTech 100 HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startups across Latin America.

World Economic Forum 

Our CEO and Co-founder was invited to write an  article for  the World Economic Forum, as a part of the Young Global Leaders Annual Summit, where she pointed out that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are crucial to our future.

Our Community and its impact 

ScienceTHON

A big milestone that brings us closer to working with school communities, was that for the first time, students and teachers from all over Latin America gathered in a virtual science hackathon with Lab4U and Colegio Altamira to solve the world’s biggest challenges through science and

technology using an SDG framework. Without a doubt, a great advance in the democratization of science!

World Education Week 

Last November, our CEO and co-founder, Komal Dadlani, participated in the completion of the Science and Technology Week of Alberto Blest Gana School, where she shared with teachers and students, supporting this initiative that is a joint work of this educational institution with instance that help them to promote their technological area, which welcomes students in search of their tools and skills in this area. 

Lab4U 2020 Award

We at Lab4U would like to congratulate Ms. Martha Styer for her exemplary work this year with her students and for her impact on physical education at Cristo Rey High School in Sacramento, California. 

At Lab4U we work with science teachers and educators from across the country and around the world who inspire us as they provide  their students tools to love science and practice it interactively, thus improving learning outcomes. Ms. Styer has gone above and beyond with her and her goals! 

At Lab4U we are extremely grateful to our community of educators, clients, advisors, investors and partners for making the democratization of science education possible for a better world. 

Thank you 2020 for teaching us so much, we look forward to making a bigger difference during 2021 and beyond.

Lab4U Talks. Episode 3: Resetting the way we teach science is vital for all our future

In the previous episode we talked about how we could solve the problems of science education by building a better future, focusing on leading it in schools because this would make it easier to hear the voice of those who face these kinds of challenges.

For Lab4U, science is vital for learning and marks a guide in moments of change or adjustment in the way of delivering education.

In this third episode, Komal talks with two leaders, Nathan Marks and Javier Baeza, about readjusting the way we are teaching science, an idea raised in an article by the World Economic Forum.

The article, which was the result of the sixteenth forum of young world leaders, explains how COVID-19 has forced major reforms in the way education is delivered, rethinking a radical change in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics are crucial to our future.

Don’t miss this episode about the dialogue of two young people who have led projects with schools, and which highlighted the challenges of implementing educational technology, even more so taking into account the context in which the world is currently moving. 

Episode outline:

  • 00:00: Presentations
  • 02:00: How are we rethinking education from a science perspective?
  • 03:40: What do we think about what we are living?
  • 09:00: How do we help the school community in the development of skills?
  • 14:30: How will we face the future in education?
  • 16:50: Is it possible to experience the classroom from the virtual?
  • 25:00: We must think about the challenges and opportunities of education in the future 

The new education

The current context that we are living with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the school communities, both teachers, managers and the more than one billion students who had to leave the schools, according to the WEF.

In Lab4U we have space to know what happens in the classrooms, well, the new classrooms, and how from the virtual it puts on test teachers and complete educational communities, fearing to think that they will not be able to end a process or not knowing skills that the current context and the difficulties have not allowed them to learn and acquire. 

Thus, the daily struggle of schools to survive a crisis not only in education, but also in areas of such social impact, such as the economy and the occupation of public spaces that cannot be so easily replaced by teleworking or tele-education, is affecting the teaching of young people.

A world of opportunities of which we want to be a part

The work of LAB4U has been to open spaces of opinion that, from science, mathematics, engineering and other technological areas, allow the work of strengthening the educational communities from a common dialogue between teachers, board members, students and communities of parents and guardians.

This opens a possibility of opportunities of how we imagine learning with the new skills that teachers and students must acquire to bring the classroom to the imaginary of a video call.

Some of the main topics discussed in this episode were

  • Changing the Rules of the Education Game During the Pandemic.
  • Adapting to a new reality that demands the attention of both teachers and students.
  • Rethinking the future with collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication (4C).

On the first point, Nathan commented on how the landscape of students and teachers has changed, considering the challenge of an entire semester through the virtual mode, and how this accelerates the challenges of further increasing skills, delivering tools and infrastructure and acquiring learning that allows rethinking the new education.

As for the second, Javier explained that the focus must be on education to give a much better future to students around the world, but do not forget that this experience is totally different from the regular circumstances to which the students were adapted. 

A solution with an answer that considers everyone in society and that allows the discussion among various actors in education of the commitment that means a common effort to deliver better skills and tools to teachers to face a difficult context such as the current one.

Helping teachers and knowing is what we need

Accompanying teachers in the educational process is part of what we do at Lab4U, that is why it is so crucial to hear opinions about how the content, educational skills and teaching process is being delivered to teachers and how they are taking it to the virtual classrooms.

Nathan, points out that working in communities and maintaining processes in a way that builds equity in education is key to facing moments of crisis. Double’s challenge! 

Understanding what is happening and bringing it into the educational process is a task that requires a lot of attention. Therefore, one of the themes of this episode is how we refocus education from a model that considers the 4Cs (critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity).

One of the difficulties teachers are facing, Javier emphasizes, is generating spaces for face-to-face dialogue with students, since the lack of physical distance that should exist today to protect us can be a risk factor in how we will face education in the future.

It is not easy to bring the most sensitive emotionalities or abilities of the human being to the current context in which students live, often running the risk of losing the imaginary of community that emerges in schools.

The challenge of the virtual classroom and the lack of skills

The new codes of education or distance work in educational communities have accelerated the challenges of having adequate infrastructure and content to continue the professional development skills of educators and promoting communication with their students.

Teaching in person is totally different from teaching through tele-education, so the links between teachers and students are experienced in another perspective. Nathan and Javier agreed on this point, which shows how difficult the daily learning has been, the way of evaluation and the search for questions that arise in the classroom.

Educational experiences are based on relationships and that is the great challenge of how we imagine education will be in a few more years, if it will deliver a future in which both educational learning and distance communication can be developed, in an environment with a focus on the digital.

In this sense, the opportunities for teachers and students must be at the center of the policies of deconfinement, being fundamental how the disease develops in the future, since it will allow the gradual return of students to their schools and of teachers in their work spaces.

This should be a task that unites families, students, teachers, directors and all kinds of individuals in the educational chain, since this process is structured from a joint effort, supporting teachers in the delivery of skills to meet future challenges.

So, in Lab4U we present you this episode that seeks to give opinion about the recommendations that education should live in the future, the rethinking from the sciences and how the conversation of the educational communities should go in the right direction of the creation of skills, support tools and search of knowledge that allows to face the changes and new realities of the pandemic.

Related post

Science education in times of COVID-19

Lab4U Talks. Episode 2: Building communities of practice while implementing Lab4U

In the previous episode, Komal spoke with Nathan about the achievement gap, and his experience as a teacher in the US and in Mexico. In this 2nd. episode we talk about how we could solve the problems in science education building a better future.

At Lab4U we are moving the needle to make sure students have access to quality science education. 

To make education accessible, Lab4U partnered with the US Embassy and CEMEX to launch a scholarship program for science teachers in Mexico, empowering them with tools to change the way they teach science remotely. 

Listen to this episode and learn how Nathan built a community of practice with science teachers making a difference in the lives of thousands of students during a pandemic. 

Episode Outline:

  • min. 01:30: Introductions
  • min. 03:00: How is Lab4U working with schools around the world
  • min. 05:30: Partnering with the US Embassy and CEMEX to empower the future of the workforce
  • min. 07:15: Lab4U scholarship program 
  • min. 08:40: Training and Professional Development 
  • min. 14:10: Communities of practice
  • min. 21:00: Building a better future and scaling a high impact program
  • min. 22:05: Learnings from this program and closing remarks

Technology is a means to an end, and not the object.

We believe in the power of technology to build a better future, but technology is a means to an end, and not the object.

In Ed-tech, between technology and education, education comes first where pedagogy and instructional design play a key role in this paradigm. 

Joining forces to empower the future of the workforce with CEMEX and the US Embassy

With the support of the US Embassy and CEMEX, Lab4U launched a program that sponsored a group of committed teachers from different states of Mexico. 

During the pandemic, a large number of teachers had to re-imagine the way they teach .

If teachers were overburdened before, during a pandemic with remote teaching and distance learning, teaching science or any other subject, just got more demanding. 

To support the teacher community in Mexico, 2 sponsors in collaboration with us, decided to help a group of teachers. Empowering them with tools so that they can teach science in an engaging way with technology and with a proper instructional design using inquiry-based learning. 

Lab4U Webinars

Lab4U provided different professional development sessions through webinars and Lab4Physics for their students.

With Lab4Physics students transform their smartphones into science labs, not just virtual labs through simulations, but remote science labs using the built-in sensors of smartphones and tablets. 

In This episode

Nathan Marks shares some inspiring anecdotes about teachers from different backgrounds and states of Mexico (some even from rural Mexico) who are currently teaching inquiry-based science to students through smartphone technology. 

App Lab4Physics

We know that many classes have gone online or hybrid, where technology plays a crucial role, however we understand that technology is not the silver bullet, because one can have a traditional theoretical class through Zoom or Meet or Google Classroom with the same powerpoint without the proper instructional design for an online lesson and expect a lot.

Nevertheless, we believe that pedagogy plays an important role in the learning process, be it in person, or online. 

At Lab4U we are supporting teachers to perform inquiry-based activities with their students as learning is much more significant, long lasting and meaningful when students have the chance to learn by doing. Nathan shares how even students from rural Mexico were able to experiment hands-on and take charge of their own learning. 

Nathan explains how the latter is achieved by hands-on experiments with a guided approach using inquiry-based learning, where we focus on the pedagogy as opposed to the traditional class. With this approach students lose their fear of making mistakes and that’s what experimentation is all about! At Lab4U we know there is pedagogical importance in uncertainty and error

In STEM areas there is generally a fear of these subjects being difficult, boring, and not for everybody and this is based on the traditional model that prevails in many schools, where students experience science as “second hand” where we learn about science, the work that others did. But they are not actually engaging in the scientific process themselves.

Building communities of practice

However, Nathan explains that despite the challenges of distance learning and not having a physical lab space, getting students the access to a smartphone that is now a lab has been useful in shifting mindset and changing paradigms, having students taking the initiative to work beyond Lab4U’s lab report and participating in science clubs. 

The second insight Nathan shared was around building communities of practice between teachers, where they shared their experiences and learnings between peers. Here Lab4U is fostering and moderating these spaces. 

Nathan shared an anecdote of one of our experiments: Moonwalk 

Picture Description: Students sharing their experience using Lab4Physics during the pandemic. All photographs are shared with parents permits through the teachers.

In conclusion, Nathan shares the importance of pedagogy and communities of practice.

And we share the impact that Lab4U’s implementations have in communities that need it the most.

Check out Lab4U’s impact in its longitudinal study, a Randomized Controlled Trial published by the Inter-American Bank where the reports shows that students increase their interest to pursue a STEM related career

“What is this for?” publication iadb.org

Highlights of this episode: 

  1. Importance of inquiry-based learning during a pandemic 
  2. Building communities of practice with empowered teachers
  3. Inspiring students to love science and overcome their fear of making mistakes. 

Lab4U knows that STEM jobs are in demand, we need today’s youth to be tomorrow’s changemakers to solve humanity’s challenges.

We expect our work to transcend, supporting teachers and students to build a better future. 

So we want to thank all teachers, students, parents, and sponsors like the US Embassy and CEMEX for being part of this mission. 

To learn more about us. You can listen Lab4U Talks in: Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast  or you could listen to Lab4U’s YouTube Playlist

Visit us at: www.lab4u.co. You can also write to us at: [email protected] 

This episode was recorded in our homes, so working remotely.

Audio Production: Jose Ferrada, Lab4U. Distribution: Más Más

Music Credits: Cool Intro – Stings by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Episode 1: Democratizing science education and reducing the achievement gap

How can we bring opportunity to every student, everywhere? It may not be easy, but it’s worth it.

In Episode 1 of the English edition of Lab4U Talks, we will be talking about equity in education and how specifically, education technology can be an equalizer to reduce the achievement gap.

This topic is close to our heart because at Lab4U we believe that talent is universal but opportunities are not, and through our work we want to be a part of bringing high-quality science education to all young people.

Your host for Lab4U Talks is Komal Dadlani, joined by Nathan Marks for this conversation. We’re not only colleagues at Lab4U, but Nathan is also a great teacher and human being who cares deeply about this topic and has dedicated his entire professional career to ensuring all children have access to a quality education.

In this conversation, we’ll discuss the unique contexts in which we work–the US & Mexico. We’ll also explore the opportunities–and some of the pitfalls–of education technology, and how we’re thinking about the best way to ensure that technological innovation can be integrated in the classroom, without losing sight of the importance of high-quality pedagogy and teacher support and training.

Episode Outline:

  • min. 2:43:  Introductions
  • min. 4:15:  Nathan explains his passion for education and past experiences as an educator
  • min. 6:20: Growing awareness of social and educational inequity
  • min. 8:55: Going deeper: how do we confront inequity in education?

Equity / Inequality in Education, vision from USA, Mexico and LatAm. 

In this interesting “point-counterpoint” from Nathan’s home state of Minnesota. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (and the state of Minnesota in which both are located) are often referenced as places that mix affordability, inclusion, and opportunity better than almost any other major metro area in the US.

Yet this is also a place that hides a significant achievement gap between white and minority students. Read more: Miracle of Minneapolis vs. Minneapolis’ White Lie

  • min. 10:54: Comparing the achievement gap in the US to the achievement gap in LatAm.

In contribution to that explanation:

The achievement gap in education racial segregation versus segregation by poverty

  • min. 12.10: Komal talks about these problems and specifically Lab4U’s mission: democratizing access to quality education.
  • min. 12:55: The roots of inequality in education in the US

Some awareness and quotes:

  • min. 13:30: Additionally, Nathan talks about the problem from school segregation and racial academic gaps that continue to affect students in the US today, decades after Brown vs. Board of Education.

Publications:

Is Separate Still Unequal? New Evidence on School Segregation and Racial Academic Achievement Gaps (by: Sean Reardon)

“In a 8 year study of data from all public school districts in the U.S. We find that racial school segregation is strongly associated with the magnitude of achievement gaps in 3rd grade, and with the rate at which gaps grow from third to eighth grade. The association of racial segregation with achievement gaps is completely accounted for by racial differences in school poverty: racial segregation appears to be harmful because it concentrates minority students in high-poverty schools, which are, on average, less effective than lower-poverty schools. Finally, we conduct exploratory analyses to examine potential mechanisms through which differential enrollment in high-poverty schools leads to inequality. We find that the effects of school poverty do not appear to be explained by differences in the set of measurable teacher or school characteristics available to us.”

Achievement gap between The rich and the poor, New evidence and possible explanations

Whither Opportunity?: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances. The Widening Academic Achievement Gap between the Rich and the Poor: New Evidence and Possible Explanations, Sean F. Reardon (Stanford)

Covid-19 and how this has affected schools, teachers and students in spite of technology .

  • min. 15:27: Education during a pandemic, remote learning and the importance of technology in a “global emergency mode”
  • min. 16:54: Education technology in times of COVID-19

1.5 B students have been affected with school closures during COVID19 according to UNESCO

Brookings (brookings.edu), estimating the impact of COVID-19 school closures on student outcomes: The impact of Covid-19 on student achievement and what it may mean for educator 

  • min. 18:30: Important distinctions in times of COVID-19
  • Difference between asynchronous in contrast with synchronous online teaching 
  • Difference between homeschooling and “home-staying remote-schooling
  • Importance of instructional design for online lessons

This crisis has changed the way we do many things, but it may provide new opportunities

  • min. 21:55: We still need to invest in infrastructure and teacher training and support:
  • Educational options
  • Wifi and likewise Universal internet access
  • Support teachers, in spite of a fast changing environment 

Without a doubt, we must invest in technology, but for Lab4U, technology is not the most relevant. We must also consider infrastructure, pedagogy and educational methodologies and teacher support.  

Indeed, we look forward to talking about more related topics in an upcoming episode.

Thank you for listening! Also you can listen Lab4U Talks:

Lab4U’s YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3gn3KaE  

Visit us at: www.lab4u.co or you can also write to us at: [email protected].

Here in this blog you can still read our note podcast teaser or episode 0.

This episode was recorded in our homes, so working remotely. Audio Production: Jose Ferrada, Lab4U. Distribution: Más Más

Finally, Music Credits: Cool Intro – Stings by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)

Re-imagining science education: New Podcast Lab4U Talks, by Komal Dadlani

Hello everyone, my name is Komal Dadlani and I am the CEO and co-founder at Lab4U. Our mission is to democratize science and change the way science is taught.

Transforming smartphones in science labs

At Lab4U we are transforming smartphones and tablets into completo science labs. Leveraging and taking advantage of the built-in sensors that mobile devices already have so that every student and teacher around the world can have a lab in their pocket.

We believe that behind great education technology, there needs to be great content and pedagogy. At Lab4U we are developing inquiry-based instructional material and we are supporting teachers through professional development.

Re-imagining science education

We are launching Lab4U Talks, a podcast to share our experience in education, science and technology while giving new perspectives on the problems of science education. And hopefully sparking some dialogues that could be of interest to our community of science educators. 

One of the keys to educational transformation is to increase scientific literacy and develop 21st-century skills to prepare our youth for the future of the workforce and STEM related careers.

At Lab4U, we truly believe that talent is universal but opportunities are not, that is why we want to empower teachers and students to be part of the change wherever they are. 

In this podcast when talking about science education. We will focus on topics and questions that we are passionate about, such as:

  • What is inquiry and why is it important?
  • What is scientific literacy and why is it an important part of good informed citizenship? Especially when we have to develop critical thinking when it comes to decision making. 

Pandemic, also a educational crisis

We started this podcast at a historic moment: during a pandemic that represents not only a health crisis, but also an economic, social, and educational crisis where more than 1.5 billion students have been affected by the closure of schools.

Almost overnight, the entire educational system has been forced to rethink the way we teach and learn. 

As we experience the shift to a post-pandemic world, we want to shine a light on the opportunities and challenges that education technology poses focusing on methodologies that can ensure that student learning is more significant than ever. 

Many have talked about homeschooling, which is when parents or guardians take charge of the education of their children at home and what we are seeing now goes beyond that, since it is “Home staying remote schooling”, that is.

Online learning vs. emergency remote teaching

We stay at home and there is an educational institution that is making the effort to teach us remotely. We have educators sending material, teachers on Zoom video call or some other video conferencing tool, an effort that we deeply admire.

During this pandemic, we also ask ourselves, is this “online learning” or is it really emergency remote teachingwithout a proper instructional design?

Can we take the same power point presentation that we used in the classroom and use it on zoom call for example?

Here we must speak about instructional design and pedagogy and how can we effectively apply different methodologies such as active learning, inquiry-based learning, project based-learning and much more.

This is just a peek at the many science and education-related topics we hope to address in Lab4U Talks

We hope that these insights will be useful for you in your day-to-day work with your students and also, in your educational communities. 

At Lab4U, we are passionate about science education and we are excited to share our passion with you.

We hope you enjoy this podcast as much as we enjoy producing it.

Thank you for listening!

Moreover, here in this blog, you can read our note podcast episode 1.

Visit us at: www.lab4u.co or write to us at: [email protected]

Audio Production: Jose Ferrada, Lab4U. Distribution: masmas (++)

Music Credits: Cool Intro – Stings by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)

Lab4U Scholarship: Bringing science closer to students in high-need communities in times of COVID-19

The impact of the pandemic on schools and learning communities around the world has been incredibly challenging and demanding.

lab4u-experiment
Experimentation

The COVID-19 health crisis has affected everyone, and educators are no exception. Indeed, the impact of the pandemic on schools and learning communities around the world has been incredibly challenging. Demanding that teachers, administrators, families, and students themselves radically change the way they’re teaching and learning in a short period of time.

While this transition hasn’t been easy for anyone. It’s been especially challenging for students in public schools in low-income communities, which may not have the infrastructure or the resources to adapt to this “new normal”.

Science, experimentation, and inquiry

Lab4U has always sought to bring science, experimentation, and inquiry closer to learning communities all over the world. At this time, we’re especially concerned with the experience of students and teachers in public schools. We’re looking for ways to support them with resources to ensure quality distance learning experiences.

  • How can we ensure that all students, have the resources and tools they need for a quality science education?
  • Who can we work with to multiply our impact in STEM education?

Beca Lab4U program: meaningful and lasting impact

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Lab on your pocket

In the spirit of generating meaningful and lasting impact in schools and communities in need of support, at the end of May we launched the “Beca Lab4U” (Lab4U Scholarship) program, supported by CEMEX and the US Embassy in Mexico.

During this program, we were able to offer Lab4Physics Premium for free to a group of teachers and their students in public schools all over Mexico, giving thousands of students access to a lab in their pocket and the chance to learn science through experimentation from their own homes.

After receiving close to 200 applications to the “Beca Lab4U” program and evaluating the interest and motivation of each applicant, we selected a group of 39 physics teachers to participate in this unique program.

The teachers, who come from 7 different states all over Mexico, represent a tremendous diversity of contexts and experiences. But they’re unified by their concern for developing significant STEM knowledge and skills among their students, and an interest in innovating in science education.

Stundents worked with Lab4Physics from home!

After online training, we created users for more than 1,500 students who were able to access Lab4Physics for the last month of the 2019-20 school year. Indeed, they worked with Lab4Physics from home, using only basic material most students can find at home.

Those that are able to have also been able to participate in synchronous classes with their classmates. And others who may not have internet or computer access have participted in WhatsApp and Messenger conversations with their classmates where they share their analysis and what they’ve discovered as they experiment from home.

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Online Training

We hope the learning that comes out of this project have a lasting benefit for participating students. And they also keep learning and being inspired by science throughout their lives.

Are you interested in supporting science education in a high-need school?

There are thousands more students and teachers across Mexico, who are looking to contribute to education initiatives like these. When students and teachers need it most!

Finally, contact us today to learn more!

[email protected]

Science education in times of COVID-19

COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is an emerging, unprecedented, rapidly-evolving situation. It’s of concern to everyone because of its high level of transmission and risk of serious illness and death to those who contract it.

The virus can be serious, regardless of their age: even previously healthy, young people have gotten seriously ill and even died from COVID-19. But statistically speaking, the virus is dangerous for the elderly and for those with certain underlying medical conditions,

In a matter of months, COVID-19 has led to drastic changes to many aspects of day to day life. To try to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable.

Given the complexity of this issue, the public health and economic impact, the role of individual actions in determining collective outcomes. And the ever-increasing knowledge about this previously unknown viru. It’s clear that this is serious and complex issue for individuals to navigate, as well as for governments and health authorities to plan for.

Science education and science literacy as a tool to ensure individual safety

But at Lab4U, we believe it’s especially important to consider the impact of this pandemic on educational communities around the world. And to shine a light on the importance of science education and science literacy as a tool to ensure individual safety in situations. Like the one we’re currently living, and to combat misinformation, keeping us all safer and accelerating the end of the pandemic.

In the last few months, we’ve been bombarded by information—some of it true, some of it misleading. But much of it shifting as experts learn more about this novel virus.

To understand this situation, and how best to react, it’s important to think critically. To responsibly consume and share information, and to understand how the scientific process can lead to changing recommendations from public health professionals.

child-with-face-mask-back-at-school-after-covid-19

For example: the use of masks in public spaces. Early in the pandemic. The advice from WHO and health authorities was that individual use of masks is not recommended.

The WHO and health authorities do not recommend the individual use of masks

In part, this was due to a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of mask use at curbing spread among individuals outside of hospital settings. But it was also intended to avoid shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals depend on to stay safe on the job due to a run on these products due to panic buying by individuals.

Later in the pandemic, the advice of public health officials changed. The US CDC and others encouraged everyone to use non-medical-grade masks in public spaces.

Why did guidance change?

Why did guidance change? For a variety of reasons. Yet for some, the seeming about-face has led to mistrust. Those with an understanding of the process of scientific research and discovery may be more tolerant of these shifts. Because they understand that the shifting guidance reflects the scientific process and an ever-evolving understanding of the virus:

  • Its risks
  • Transmission pathways
  • And other factors. 

While it will take time for all of the impacts of this ongoing crisis to become clear. One of the most important takeaways is a renewed focus on the importance of science literacy. A well-informed population, is a population that’s prepared to successfully navigate a challenge like the one posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

At Lab4U, we want to be a part of this change

  • Helping students and teachers around the world become more scientifically literate.
  • As always, Lab4U is concerned with increasing access to a quality science education for everyone, promoting inquiry and experimentation.
  • As part of this commitment, we’ve organized dozens of webinars and special opportunities for science educators, to bring innovative tools
  • Contact us when you need tomknow new ways of working remotely
  • Our team of science experts would be happy to help. Our email is [email protected]

We also invite you to check out this list of communications strategies and tools to enhance scientific literacy (NIH).

Original Blog in Spanish: Educación Científica en tiempos de COVID19

Back to school with Lab4U: A few tips to help you using our apps!

We are happy to support and walk you into this new school year as we welcome you to Lab4U! We want to start this new adventure together, making sure you don’t encounter any obstacles to implementing Lab4U in your classroom.

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If you’ve already downloaded one of the Lab4U apps, we congratulate you on joining our mission to reinvent education!

Now, in order to facilitate the process of downloading and using our applications with your class, we provided you with a few steps to follow!

First for your students to be able to use Lab4U’s application in your classroom, ideally you will need them to have access to the Internet.

We would recommend that you speak with the person in charge of IT at your school. And request a network that allows your students to download the App.

However, we’re aware that some schools’ internet connection is not powerful enough to support an entire class’s activity.

If this is the case for you don’t worry!

You can ask your students to download the application and the necessary experiments priorly to coming to class. Because our apps can also function offline!

Installing The App

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Once they have internet access, your students should go to the online store on their device — either Play Store (Android), or App Store (iOS). There, they can search for “Lab4Physics” or “Lab4Chemistry”, select the application with the red or the purple icon, and download it.

Done? Good! Now once they open it up, the screen will display a short tutorial explaining them in 4 very simple steps how the app works.

How to create an account?

If they haven’t been given a username and password from Lab4U’s team, we suggest that your students go to

  1. “Create Account”
  2. Select “Student”
  3. And register using their Facebook account, Google account, or their own email address.

How to sign in with an institutional account?

If your students were already given a username and password from the Lab4U team already, they can select “Begin Session” and enter the user credentials assigned to them.

lab4u-login

Once they’ve registered, they’ll be able to enter the app and start playing with the experiments and tools!

How to activate your 14 days free-trial?

To discover more experiments and explore a wider variety of tools you can activate a 14-day free trial, where you have access to all the features of the downloaded app.

lab4u-trial

To activate the free trial, go to the menu, select “Try Free Demo” and click on the button “Try Premium. (For 14 days)”. 
After the trial period, you can buy the Premium version of the app. This will allow you to continue to use unlimitedly all the tools and experiments during 180 days!

Last recommendations

If your school doesn’t have internet access and your students have to download the application from somewhere else, make sure to clearly emphasize on the following points before they start downloading the app:

  • Application names: Lab4Physics & Lab4Chemistry.
  • Select the red icon for Lab4Physics or the purple icon for Lab4Chemistry.
  • They must make sure they can access all of the necessary experiments and tools before coming to class.
  • we also suggest that you select one student from each group, who will be responsible for reminding his or her classmates to download the applicatio. Before every session you’ve designated for conducting the experiments.

Now you´ll be ready to start this year and make your science class a source of inspiration for your students!

If you need any further information visit our Teacher Portal and feel free to contact us.

Thank you for working with us!

We wish you a year full of discoveries and inquiry.

Team Lab4U

5 Women in Science, you need to know about

Recently, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, so we thought it was the perfect occasion to remind you about the groundbreaking achievements of 5 Women in science throughout history.

The world is still full of amazing female scientists, which would make it impossible for us to mention them all.

However, we still wanted to introduce at least 5 of them who changed the course of history, and we’re inviting you to comment right below this post to let us know which one is your favorite!

1. Marie Curie

Marie-Curie
Marie Curie

Is considered to this day, to be the Mother of Modern Physics. In 1898, together with her husband Pierre, she discovered the elements of polonium and radio for which she received a first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903.

Later on, in 1911, she also received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry making her the first person in history to win two Nobel prizes in different categories.

A beautiful quote from Madame Curie:

“In life there are no things to fear, there are only things to understand.”

Her Influence Today

In 2018, Google announced that it will expand its global network with new submarine cables in Chile, Denmark and Hong Kong, and to honor one of the greatest scientific influences the world has known, the cable connecting Chile to Los Angeles will be named “Curie”.

Google hopes that once deployed, Curie will become the largest single data pipeline in Chile, and will serve Google users and customers from all Latin American countries.

2. Jane Goodall

Jane-Goodall

Was a Scientist and English activist who spent six decades studying chimpanzees. Throughout her whole life she wrote innumerable publications and books containing all the discoveries and great scientific advances she made.

Her observations covered a wide range of topics, going from relationships between chimpanzees, to their feeding habits, to even the kind of tools they would use in their daily lives.

Goodall received several honours and awards for her research work and activism in favor of animals. In 2002, she was named Messenger of Peace for the United Nations.

Our favorite quote from her:

“There are still many things in the world that are worth fighting for. “

3. María Teresa Ruíz

Maria-Teresa-Ruiz

Is a Chilean astronomer and the first woman to successfully study astronomy at the University of Chile before entering Princeton University to complete a masters in astrophysics.

In 1997, Professor María Teresa Ruíz discovered an unusual celestial body, the first free-floating brown dwarf. Which is thought of as being a failed star or expanded planet.

For this discovery, she became the first woman to receive Chile’s National Science Award.

At last, in 2017, Prof. María Teresa Ruíz also won the L’Oréal Prize for Women in Science for her outstanding contributions and discovery.

4. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Francoise-Barre-Sinoussi

Is a French virologist. In 2008, together with Luc Montagnier, she was awarded the Nobel Prize of Medicine for the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

She is an active member of different science organizations, such as the Pasteur Institute or the National Agency for AIDS Research. She has been fighting against AIDS and collaborating for more than 30 years with multiple countries in Asia and Africa in the prevention, treatment and care of AIDS.

Our favourite citation from Barré-Sinoussi:

“If you want to reach your expectations, you must set high goals, it is the best way to make progress”

5. Katherine Johnson

Katherine-Johnson

She was an African-american mathematician pioneer in space science and computing. Indeed, Johnson calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space. And was also in charge of assessing the calculations of the mission that sent the first American to orbit the Earth.

Her calculations played a big part in the success of the famous Apollo Moon landing program and the start of the Space Shuttle program, as much as in the United States’ first steps into space (Wikipedia, Katherine Johnson). In 2015, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 2016, the three-times Oscar nominee movie Hidden Figures honored her story and her accomplishments internationally, which happened while racial segregation was still very present in the United States.

An anecdote about K. Johnson:

“Her work was so accurate that when NASA switched to using computers. They would call on her to check the computer’s calculations for errors.”

We believe the next Marie Curie or María Teresa Ruíz can be anywhere in the world.

We need your help to inspire girls around the world to become the next generation of Women in Science.

To know more about how few women in science there are today then check out our previous blog.

Want to be inspired by some great videos created by TED-ed Women In STEM? Then check them out here

If you’re interested in making a difference for girls in science education, check out Lab4U’s solutions on our website.

9 Reasons Why you should implement Inquiry-Based learning in your classroom

Why is Lab4U Inquiry-Based Methodology essential for teaching science to the next generation?

cientificos

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of inquiry-based learning.

Yet in spite of all the hype, there’s often a lack of clarity around what, specifically, inquiry-based learning is.

While there’s no one correct, all-encompassing definition, in general inquiry-based learning refers to a set of active approaches that encourage students to engage with new ideas through curiosity and exploration.

As protagonists of their own learning process, students develop new knowledge and skills while charting their own course. And therefore, develop longer-lasting competencies and key soft skills in the process.

Designing inquiry-based learning experiences for your students isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

At Lab4U, we’re committed to ensuring that all students, have the opportunity to learn science through inquiry.

Why? Because it improves student outcomes in the short-term, and helps them prepare for happy, healthy, and productive lives in the future.

Indeed, a 2018 Inter-American Bank Development Study found that Lab4U’s inquiry-based solutions for middle and high school physics and chemistry classes increased student outcomes, self-perception, and interest in studying STEM in the future.

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of inquiry based approaches to teaching and learning that still can inspire you in your own classroom!

laboratorio

1. Inquiry increases rigor and cognitive load

pensando

Inquiry-based learning pushes students beyond simply learning to memorize or remember, and toward applying knowledge in new domains, drawing connections among ideas, evaluating or challenging ideas, and additionally creating something completely new.

2. Inquiry increases engagement and interest

Inquiry-based learning connects a new concept or area of study with students own interests and lived experience. Therefore, this methodology awakens their natural curiosity. This Increasing engagement in learning experiences, hence are more relevant to students’ lives .

3. Inquiry increases intellectual risk-taking

salto

Inquiry-based learning experiences push students out of their comfort zone. Because it focuses more on exploring environments of varying levels of ambiguity, it lowers the perceived need to “get it right” that would otherwise make students wary of intellectual risk-taking.

Yet we’ve found that students are often enjoying themselves so much they don’t even notice they’re out of their comfort zone, happily exploring uncharted intellectual territory!

4. Inquiry develops key soft skills

skills

Inquiry-based learning also effectively develops important soft skills that are key for student success in the 21st Century, such as creative problem solving, critical thinking, logical thinking, teamwork, and even written and oral communication.

5. Inquiry is a natural differentiator

With Inquiry-based learning, because they have a degree of autonomy to select how they want to approach a task, students have leeway to select a learning pathway that appeals to their preferred learning style. Students then have the space to learn in a way that makes sense to them.

There are also many possibilities for purposeful differentiation — since inquiry-based learning activities are naturally student-driven and semi-autonomous, teachers are free to circulate and give individualized instruction, small-group support, and extension activities to students who need it most.

6. Inquiry transforms a classroom of students into a classroom of teachers

cientifica

Inquiry-based teaching can easily be combined with collaborative groupings. Because that allow students to work and learn as teams.

With clearly set expectations and carefully defined roles, students explore, discuss, and come up with creative ways to approach a complex task, learning more as a team than they would individually.

Often, peer learning is just as effective as teacher-led learning. Indeed, the most meaningful “aha!” moments often come in authentic interactions with peers. Then suddenly, your class is transformed into space where EVERYONE is a teacher!

7. Inquiry creates lifelong learners

ciencia

Inquiry-based learning helps students become lifelong learners.

Life is about learning to navigate unfamiliar situations, and coming up with creative solutions in environments of uncertainty will help students find success not only in their current academic careers but will also help them adapt to a workforce and world that will continue to evolve in unexpected ways.

8. Inquiry triggers new approaches to solve a new type of problem

planeta

The global issues that our world is facing today are known as “wicked”. Problems for they’re more complex than any problem our society has ever faced before.

There is no longer any good or bad solution able to solve a wicked problem such as climate change, nor there is any definite set of solutions to end world hunger, or any limit to scientific discoveries and innovations responding to the endless list of challenges humanity is facing.

Therefore, we need to enable the next generation today to face the world of tomorrow with a more dynamic and innovative way of thinking about problems.

And this is what inquiry-based learning teaches them to do by triggering their critical thinking capacities and pushing them to take action instead of learning passively.

9. Inquiry as a source of self-confidence

Inquiry-based learning allows students to embrace and feel comfortable with still with the possibility of making errors. Making it rather an opportunity for improvement.

exito

Indeed, by challenging them to find solutions based on their own knowledge and experience, this learning approach empowers students to increase their self-confidence, and to freely experiment focusing on the inquiry itself rather than the fear of being “wrong”.

Join us!

At Lab4U we designed tools to enable teachers to implement Iquiry-based methodology in their own classroom. From middle to high schools.

In addition, we love imagining a world in which ALL students have the opportunity to regularly engage in the big ideas of science. All of this Through inquiry, exploration, and discovery.

After that, if you’re interested in learning more about how you can incorporate more learning into your science classes. Then check out Lab4U’s solutions for middle and high schoolers! Visit our website or sign up for a 20 minute informational call.

Join the discussion!

In conclusion, we’d love to hear about how has inquiry-based learning helped improve student interest, motivation, or outcomes in your class? Let us know below, later!

Finally, if you want to find out more about Inquiry-Based Learning methodology, we invite you to visit these website;

https://tessais.org/the-benefits-of-inquiry-based-education/

https://www.topmostblog.com/benefits-of-inquiry-based-learning/

https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/inquiry-based-learning-advantages

The World Needs More Women in Science

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

estudiantes-experimentando

At Lab4U we work everyday with the goal and desire to democratize science and make it into an equal field whereby everyone has the same chance to innovate and to succeed, regardless of their sociocultural background.

So, this is why we strongly believe in the importance of increasing the number of Women In Science. And closing the important gender gap that persists within this field today.

Recently, the United Nations proclaimed February 11th as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls (UNESCO, 2017). For this occasion, today we wanted to bring up the challenges that we still have to fight.

leaky-pipeline

We know for a fact that a “Leaky Pipeline” in STEM Education makes it less likely for a woman to pursue a higher-paying career such as Physics, Engineering or Computer Science, leading to the presence of relatively few Women in STEM jobs today.

A lot has been said and debated regarding this leaking pipeline, but the facts are clear, only 29% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university today. Only a few of them aim to reach for the higher academic levels that are required for STEM or research careers (UNESCO, 2015).

The World Needs More Women in Science

estudiante

As the global challenges that our world is facing today are becoming increasingly complex to understand and to untie, science is in need for a more diverse group of people who can bring divergent visions and skills to enrich the research field.

Diversity has become the key to the future of science and this is why we must be willing to leverage all human capital and potential that we can. Starting by including more women to work into these fields.

Inspired by initiatives seeking to improve conditions for women in society. Lab4U is also looking for strategies to motivate more girls to be interested in science early in their education.

We truly believe that by including them, we will inspire them to become the next greatest physicists of this world.

A study made by Hazari et al, 2015, about the Factors that affect the physical science career interest of female students. Addressed the gender gap problem in the physics sector and tried to understand what could help reducing it.

During the study, they tested out 5 different hypotheses and observed which one would have the biggest impact on women’s physical science career interest.

  1. Teaching physics in a single-sex class
  2. Having a class taught by a physics female teacher
  3. Inviting female guest speakers in physics class
  4. Discussing the work of female scientists in physics class
  5. Discussed the underrepresentation of women in physics class.

They found at the end of the study, that the 5th solution was the one that had the most impact.

As women became more aware about these gender disparities and about the power they held over them, they started considering a career in the scientific field more.

gender-disparities-graph

What this insightful work shows us, is that to close this persistent gender gap in the scientific field. We first need to address the problem by recognizing it and bringing it to light.

marie-curie

We believe the next Marie Curie or Maria Teresa Ruiz can be anywhere in the world. Therefore this is why we need your help to put an end to this Leaky Pipeline and to inspire more little girls to take over the next generation of Women in Science!

To find out more about how you can motivate your own students’ interest for science. Thanks to Lab4U’s solutions and how you can implement them in your own classroom. Then, we invite you to visit our website and contact us!

Join the mission!

Team Lab4U.

You can also download Lab4Physics from the App Store or Google Play!

After that, we have all the materials teachers need to easily implement physics experiments in their classrooms. So Visit our Teacher Portal for more information.

Finally, If you’re interested in learning more about Lab4U, send us a message here

Lab4U’s Tools to improve science education

estudiante-aburrido

We are here to support YOU!

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Tools to improve science education!

At Lab4U, we know that teaching is rewarding. But it’s also one of the most demanding jobs out there.

Teachers constantly need to be balanced because they need to prepare rigorous learning experiences for their students with the need to attend to the unique academic, social, emotional, and developmental needs of their students. So they need tools who can support their motehod.

But, it’s impossible to do it all. That’s why because we want to help teachers with innovative solutions that make it easier to design and execute inquiry-based learning and teaching experiences!

We’re pleased to welcome you into our global movement of educators looking to transform science education, ¡Congratulations!

We believe that together we can generate impact in your classroom and change the way science is taught!

Thanks to our solutions, Lab4Physics & Lab4Chemistry, you and your students can run engaging physics and chemistry experiments anywhere.  In the classroom, lab, outdoors, or even at home, using simple, everyday materials.

It also allows students to collect, visualize, and analyze data in real time, using their own smartphones as lab instruments, and fosters discussion and collaboration among students.

Professional Development

estudiantes-experimentos-lab4u

This new way of learning science through inquiry, makes science interactive, dynamic and fun, encouraging curiosity and motivation.

Beyond positively impacting students, we aim to make this transition towards new ways of teaching and learning easy for you.

¡That’s why we created the Lab4U Teacher Portal!

In the teacher portal, you’ll find lab reports, class plans, and other resources on how to lead Lab4U’s experiments in classroom.

Resources for science educators

teacher-portal

It will even guide you to know what are the information and results we expect the students to reach.

This material is here to allow you to execute our activities seamlessly, and ensuring students achieve the ambitious goals you’ve set for them!

Finally, we will make sure that throughout the semester, you will be closely followed by our team of experts. Who will frequently reach out to you and answer any of your concerns about the way Lab4U works!

We can’t wait and achievements your students will achieve, and we’re happy to support you in the process.

Help us expand our movement by spreading the word to your fellow teachers, and give the chance to even more students to experience Lab4U!

Thank you for joining our mission, we’re rooting for you!

Happy Experimenting,

The Lab4U Team.

equipo-lab4u

Do you want to teach your students about the Uniform Linear Motion?

Fly them to the moon!

Lab4Physics comes with predesigned experiments so that physics teachers can save time on their lesson planning for class experiment days.

One of these learning activities is called “Move!” and it allows students to learn about Uniform Linear Motion (ULM) by simulating the lunar landing and analyzing position vs. time graphs of their own movements.

Here is an overview of the experiment. Please download the Lab4Physics’ app If you want to learn more. Also, don’t forget to visit our Teachers’ Portal.

Skills developed in this experiment

  • Communication
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Creating a hypothesis
  • Ability to analyze data
  • Analyzing and interpreting graphs
  • Problem solving

How does it work?

Using a real life scenario — the first moon landing — students will get into groups of three to do a simulation Neil Armstrong’s walk across the surface of the moon.

  • Before beginning the experiment, the teacher should create a guided or structured learning through inquiry activity that asks the students to respond to questions designed to develop their critical thinking.
  • Then, the students can get ready to do the simulation. In the courtyard of the school, students should draw a 10 meter long path, using chalk to mark out 2 meter intervals along the path.
  • Each student will have an assigned role in the group. One student will be in charge of taking measurements with the Lab4Physics Speedometer.
  • Another student, the “astronaut,” should walk along the path they’ve created, from the initial position to the final position.
  • The last student will be in charge of coordinating the walk, signalling to the first student each time the astronaut travels another 2 meters.

Speedometer

Indeed, The tool used for the measurements in this experiment is the Speedometer, which allows students to measure the time it takes for an object to travel from one position to the next. If you want to learn more about how the Speedometer works, you can read this article.

Using the speedometer, students will be able to look at the position vs. time graph and to analyze the “astronaut’s” movement immediately after they’ve finished the experiment.

lab4u-movimiento-rectilineo
Credit: NASA

Once they’ve finished with the experiment, students will have the knowledge and confidence they need to explain different concepts related to the physics of movement, such as the trend of the position vs. time graph.

If you want to know more details about this and other experiments. Visit our webpage or download Lab4Physics from the App Store or Google Play!

We have all the materials teachers need to easily implement physics experiments in their classrooms.

Visit our Teacher Portal for more information.

Finally if you’re interested in learning more about Lab4Physics, send us a message here

10 reasons why schools love Lab4Physics

10 reasons why schools love Lab4Physics

Lab4Physics is an educational solution designed to help physics teachers and students conduct scientific experiments in and out of the classroom. Here are 10 reasons why schools love us:

1 Lab4Physics replaces the need for schools to acquire lab equipment. Hence, schools save on the costs associated with acquiring and maintaining equipment.

2. Lab4Physics comes with predesigned experiments that are aligned with the curriculum map. Therefore, teachers can save time on lesson planning for their classes.

3. Lab4Physics helps to boost student motivation and academic performance because it allows students to take a leading role in the learning process.

4. Lab4Physics is easy to use and makes it so that learning physics is more accessible, comprehensible, and fun.

5. Because Lab4Physics helps students develop a number of fundamental skills for the 21st century, including: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and problem solving.

6. Schools receive a report on usage of the app where they can review the number of experiments completed by students, among other metrics.

7. Lab4Physics also offers professional development and support for physics teachers. The app comes with a teacher portal where teachers can find all of the resources they’ll need to plan their classes.

8. Lab4Physics allows students to experiment in and out of the classroom.

9. You don’t need an internet connection to use Lab4Physics. You only need internet once to download the app and the experiments.

10. Lab4Physics comes with 4 lab instruments that measure and generate data and graphs in real-time, without needing to wait or process anything. These instruments are the accelerometer, the speedometer, the sonometer, and the video tracker.

Want to learn more?

Then, check this awesome video to learn how students are using Lab4Physics in their classrooms:

 

School of the Madeleine shares their experience with Lab4Physics

Have we convinced you to try Lab4Physics at your school?

Finally, Send us a message here and tell us how we can help you! Or visit our webpage for more information.