Hands-on Science Wows Local High School Students

May 27, 2009

On May 28, Postdoctoral Research Scientist Josh Drew (BioSynC) participated in the “Calumet is my back yard” program, which is run through ECCo at The Field Museum. Josh led a lab for high school students from George Washington High School and from Chicago Agricultural Sciences High School. This lab was a hands-on extraction of DNA from strawberries using household ingredients like shampoo, salt and rubbing alcohol. The kids (and teachers) had a great time and were able to take home a tube of the strawberry DNA.

WhyReef, Engaging kids to learn about coral reefs

May 3, 2009

It’s almost been a month since the launch of WhyReef in Whyville.net, and things are going swimmingly! The North and South Reefs have had over 70,000 visits, and over 400,000 reef species have been counted.  Over 3,500 individual Whyvillians have played the Mini Food Web Games, and 29% of Whyvillians visit WhyReef every day.

WhyReef Launched!

March 29, 2009


The BioSynC’s latest initiative in digital learning, a virtual coral reef, is live online! The reef learning environment, called WhyReef, just launched in Whyville.net.  You can access the reef directly (after an intro screen) at www.reef.whyville.net . Its free to join or you can sign in as a guest.

Break The Reef

March 23, 2009

In preparation for the upcoming launch of our digital learning intiative WhyReef, BioSynC hosted a test session for the project called “Break The Reef” to get feedback from users. Over two days (march 23 and 24th) twenty three kids ages 7-16 came to the center to test the virtual coral reef that will go live on march 30th (get ready!). Kids came in for a few hours to play the reef game, which involves counting and identifying organisms, playing a food web game and learning about the coral reef ecosystems in general.

BioSynC at Webwise

February 27, 2009

Audrey Aronowsky attended the 10th annual WebWise (http://webwise2009.fcla.edu/) conference in Washington DC from February 25–27.  The conference, hosted by the Wolfsonian Institution and the MacArthur Foundation, serves the community of libraries, museums, and archives throughout the U.S.  At WebWise, Audrey demonstrated a prototype version of the WhyReef virtual coral reef and participated in discussions on best practices for museums and libraries in the digital age.

Digital Learning Grantee Meeting

February 20, 2009

Audrey and Elizabeth Babcock (Field Museum Education) attended the MacArthur Foundation's 3rd annual Digital Learning Grantee meeting in Irvine, CA from February 18-20.  The meeting brought together all current recipients of Digital Learning and Media (DML) grants with leaders in the fields of digital learning, digital assessments, and website design. Audrey and Elizabeth are DML recipients for their project, WhyReef.

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