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What We Have Learned: Connecting Scientists with Students through the Use of Communications Technology
In collaboration with the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence California (COSEE CA), scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps) have worked with a group of three middle school science teachers to teach students how marine natural products research at Scripps connects and contributes to the clinical drug discovery process. The participating San Diego Unified School District 7th grade life science teachers routinely teach a unit on drug discovery to approximately 300 students each year, and enrich the instruction by providing students the opportunity to communicate face-to-face with marine scientists through an interactive videoconference.

Using SKYPE to connect the lab to the classroom, the scientists discuss their work and answer questions about their lifestyle and their path to being a researcher. In addition, the students receive a virtual lab tour and learn about the various jobs people do at the lab. The teacher/researcher team has refined this program over the last three years based on ongoing formative assessment. The team has established effective practices for both teachers and scientists interested in developing this type of program to implement lab to classroom videoconferencing more broadly.

Presented by Rebecca Deutscher and Cheryl Peach at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

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