As those of you who follow scientific education are painfully aware, the U.S. has slipped dramatically in the production of capable scientists. According to Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, “American students are now ranked 22nd and 31st among their international peers in science and math, respectively.” In order to help improve the situation, last May, Scientific American, along with its parent company, Nature Publishing Group, launched a program entitled “1000 Scientists in 1000 Days” which is designed to connect volunteer scientists with K-12 students to advise on curricula, answer a classroom’s questions, or visit a school.
LabArchives, maker of one of the leading and most innovative Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) software, applauds this effort and has also launched a parallel program to help bring improved information technology into laboratory courses taught in both K-12 and undergraduate institutions. Now called the “LabArchives Student Edition”, our new product includes virtually all the power and features of our Professional Edition at a per student cost that is less than that of a paper notebook. LabArchives Student Edition has been in Pilot for the fall semester at a number of leading colleges and high schools throughout the US, and we have been enormously gratified by the reception from both the students and instructors.
Not only is LabArchives Student Edition “green”, it improves the experience of the students by being simple to use and accessible from anywhere. In addition, like our Professional Edition ELN, LabArchives stores every version of every entry that is made into each Notebook. Not only does this teach the proper application of the scientific method, but it is more fun to use, saves trees, and reduces our carbon footprint. Perhaps most importantly, the built-in collaborative features of LabArchives enables instructors to more easily review and grade the work performed by the students. Instead of having to collect 20-100 paper notebooks at various points throughout the term, bring them home, grade and comment, and return to the students, the instructor can, at any time, view the work that is done and make appropriate comments from any computer that is connected to the Internet. This often enables instructors to provided needed guidance along the way…well before a student has gone astray.
The LabArchives Student Edition Pilot will continue through the 2011-2012 academic year, and we welcome new participants at all levels. For more information, or to enroll in the program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
LabArchives is proud to be participating in a nationwide effort to improve the performance of students in science and math, and are devoting significant resources to enhance our leading electronic laboratory software to provide even better functionality for this market.