Many leaders in our country speak of the need for more students to become proficient in science and to pursue careers in this important field. Here’s a tool that can help teachers ignite students’ curiosity in science. Vanished, a new site to be launched on April 4, is designed specifically to excite middle-school students about science.
Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Smithsonian Institution, the site will enable middle schoolers to help solve a mystery surrounding an environmental disaster. As they try to understand the disaster and its causes, students gather data, do research and work with peers to draw conclusions. For each week of an eight week period, students receive a new clue and access to new games designed to help them understand the scientific concepts necessary to solving the mystery. One of the MIT project managers, Caitlin Feeley, says of the site: “You’ll think of this like a television series like ‘Lost.’ There’s a big reveal every week, and everyone’s jumping on the forum as soon as the episode is over and typing and trying to figure out what actually happened, looking for clues.”
For more information about this site where students can have a chance to become science detectives, read this article in the Boston Globe.