This past September, we developed and launched RECOVER Virtual Lab – our solution to achieve the goal of increasing the effectiveness and communication of our outreach and research to communities and classrooms far and wide. The pilot lab- “Fish Treadmill” – featuring University of North Texas Ph.D student Derek Nelson as the “virtual lab partner”, introduced teachers and students to the science and research of RECOVER; specifically on how oil impacts the swimming speeds and ability of mahi mahi. Today, we are happy to announce the launch of our second installment into Virtual Lab with “Visual Acuity”. Jason Magnuson, our featured Ph.D student from the University of North Texas and “virtual lab partner”, guides and educates students on the impacts that crude oil has on the ability for juvenile fish to see.
Many of the same features within the first virtual lab remain the same in the new installment – utilizing real world experimental set up and data from RECOVER researchers, teacher workbooks, and online quizzes to name a few. Based on teacher feedback via direct communications and the feedback function within the app itself, new features have been added. “Visual Acuity” lets students choose the fish species for their experiment, as well as having the ability to choose experimental parameters, such as oil exposure levels, rotation speed and direction. To increase the Virtual Lab audience, “Visual Acuity” is not only being offered to middle school through collegiate level students, but to elementary level students as well.
Through this new addition to the RECOVER Virtual Lab, more students are now able to apply STEM based education learned in their classrooms to an interactive real world science application that will continue to educate the public on oil spill science. We hope that the new lesson will continue to inspire and educate.
Don’t forget, go to recovervirtuallab.com or download the Virtual Lab app in the Apple App Store for Ipads and become a scientist with us!