App to help everyone become a scientist

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Technology:

Google’s new Science Journal app makes it easy to perform scientific experiments anytime.
The app lets users set up trials and experiments. It uses the sensors on a smart phone to record measure and explore the experiment’s data, and makes the analysis fun and easy to do. (As nerdy as it may sound – it makes science more fun than it already is.)

Article: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/google-creates-science-journal-app-inspire-next-generation-scientists.html
and http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-science-journal-science-app

Sustainability challenge:

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015. Goal number 4 reads: Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Making good education accessible to all is a major challenge for our current education system. In most situations, the wealthy still get better access to education and consequently more opportunities. This also means that lifelong learning is currently very expensive – be it for a 10-year-old in 6th grade trying to understand what gravity is, or for a university student who is drowning in debt.

An engaging and user-friendly app can take online learning to the next level. The article has a fun video explain how the Science Journal app works. A little girl in the video says: “Everyone is a scientist”. It looks like the app (along with the right implementation and usage) can make it possible.

Stakeholders:

  • Everyone who has access to a smart phone and the internet
  • Educators – rural, urban, privileged and under-privileged alike
  • Google and their global partner companies and service providers
  • Governments who can regulate education and technology policies
  • NGOs that are supporting SDG Goal 4: Quality Education

Process of implementation:

Introducing any new technology in the field of education has one major challenge – teaching the teacher before they can teach anyone else. Though this app is very easy to use and has an accessible to all, making the best use of it requires some basic training and in some cases also requires you to purchase some ad-ons (additional sensors or apps).

Currently the app has a few free and standard modules. Expanding this and consciously improving the quality of education provided will be another implementation hurdle.

A possible implementation model could be: Promote the app -> partner with schools and NGOs (like the Imagination Foundation) globally to make this accessible to all student -> use real-time data to improve the features offered and remove any bugs -> help provide good quality scientific education to all and promote creativity.

After all, Play is the best form of Research!

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2 thoughts on “App to help everyone become a scientist

  1. Thanks for sharing Mitika! I think this app is another great way to make learning science even more accessible and attractive to a larger crowd. Given the increasing number of cellphone users in the school-age bracket, apps like this could be a great way to promote learning, without the high investment costs (as it could be utilized using sensors already built in the phone). I agree, large scale implementation of the app, through collaborations between academia, governments and Google (or their partners), could really help revolutionize science education by making it more accessible and user-friendly.

    Like

  2. Great concept and I like that you connected it to the SDG’s. I like that it promotes STEM learning for all, the accessibility of the app and also agree that with the right partners could be a way for those in areas with little or no access to this type of learning to engage.

    Like

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