About the Project
This project is one of the 2017 WISE Awards finalists.
Science Bits is a repository of multimedia science lessons grounded in educational research that promotes the change from an education model based on the transmission of information from teacher to learner, to a constructivist one, based on inquiry, critical thinking, discovery, and learning-by-doing. Science Bits empowers middle and high school teachers with science lessons that adhere to the 5E Instructional Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate) in order to promote active learning that leads to deeper understanding and engages students in science learning.
With Science Bits, students engage in guided inquiry-based activities—presented in real-life contexts—that challenge their initial knowledge and conceptions and allow them to tackle scientific concepts by exploring, discussing, reflecting, and reasoning. Therefore, teachers don’t just provide lectures but become facilitators who listen, observe, and guide students to their understanding. Science Bits units include a unique array of multimedia and interactive resources (lab simulators, videos, animations, 3D models, etc.) that facilitate inquiry-based learning.
Context and Issue
Many products that aim to introduce technology in the classroom still replicate an instructional model from the nineteenth century that relies on rote memorization of facts. Experts in the field of education are advocating for an instructional model that relies more on critical thinking, problem solving and the development of competencies that allow students to fulfil their potential in the twenty-first century.
The Solution and Impact
Science Bits provides a large array of multimedia resources (simulators, animations, interactivities, videos, etc.) specifically created to support its constructivist methodology based on inquiry and discovery and focused on the development of competencies. It doesn’t only provide explanatory content that students must read or watch. Instead, the program and its cutting-edge pedagogical design relies on a methodology to teach and learn science actively, enhancing understanding.
Today Science Bits is present in more than 500 schools around the world, where more than 3,000 teachers and 120,000 students have changed the way they teach and learn science. With the help of Science Bits, now these teachers don’t base their teaching on just “explaining science” but guide and engage students in activities that help them discover and understand scientific concepts effectively by exploring, experimenting, discussing, reflecting, and reasoning. Thus, students have become active learners who don’t just memorize formulae and definitions, but seek understanding and manage to use new knowledge to solve problems in real life contexts.
Science Bits has replaced textbooks and became the main science resource for 32 percent of all Catalan secondary schools, and the Science Bits program is currently being adopted by an increasing number of school districts in the USA. With more than 120,000 students, Science Bits is present in schools all around the world: USA, UK, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Panamá, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan, Pakistan, and India.
Science Bits is working toward the following objectives:
- The completion of the science curriculum for secondary education
- The development of the science curriculum for elementary education
- The development of a mathematics curriculum