This initiative is part of the 2018-19 WISE Accelerator Cohort.
What they do
SmartScience provides a cloud based learning platform delivering online science labs to students on any HTML5 internet connected device. The company offers a supplement for science courses which lack basic access to science lab equipment and need the same kind of hands-on learning a real laboratory would provide. During each online lab students acquire background knowledge, take a pre-quiz, form a hypothesis and test the hypothesis with real data they measure from interactive videos. After the lab work is finished, the student completes a post-quiz and writes up their findings in a lab report, which the instructor can evaluate in the teacher portal.
Why it matters
STEM fields (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are one of the major indicators of the strength of modern economies. As the number of STEM related jobs continues to increase worldwide, the capability and interest of students in these areas is not keeping up with STEM careers. The science lab has found to be a key indicator of future success in STEM, but most government schools worldwide do not have the resources to implement a great science lab experience. Some of the factors affecting this issue are time, money, safety and instructors capability. Due to these issues, student populations in all but the more affluent communities will not get the science labs required.
Tractions so far
SmartScience’s platform is the future of a great science lab experience. It is scalable, low-cost, and available on any HTML5 device. The technology takes a new approach to virtual science labs by using interactive videos. This benefits students because they measure their own data in the same way they would do in a hands-on lab, so the process of science is preserved and students feel it is hands-on. The pedagogy ensures that each student is testing hypotheses with their real data over and over again, known as the scientific method and proven to be the best way students can develop key critical thinking skills that will last all their lives.
Future developments include strengthening the company’s online lesson catalog, scaling its operations globally, and establishing connections with new education partners internationally and schools around the world who can benefit from this technology. On the technical development side, SmartScience plans to develop their user interface further to support AR/VR content and improve the assessment features.