New network aims to give science education a makeover

More than 24 universities, colleges launch network to improve outcomes in science courses with traditionally high failure rates

science-educationA network of science educators has formed to address the future of science education and identify innovative ways to encourage students to pursue science courses.

The Inspark Science Network is a product of Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for Education Through Exploration (ETX), an initiative designed to promote active learning, teaching science as a method of exploration and discovery, and technology firm Smart Sparrow. It launched on Jan. 16, 2015, and members will work to create and disseminate courses to help students complete general science education.

Smart Sparrow, which works on adaptive learning authoring platforms, received a $4.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help support the network’s goals.

Smart Sparrow will supply the tools that help faculty create and share digital courses, which will focus on helping educators use pedagogical control and track student progress using sophisticated analytics.

(Next page: How science education can become more compelling)

Laura Ascione