The future of science education is mobile and participatory. With the WildLab, learners see their world in a whole new way.
The WildLab leverages mobile technology to engage learners in citizen science activities that promote STEM learning and encourage local environmental stewardship. We envision a classroom framed by the sky, the earth, and everything in between.
With funding from the MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with HASTAC, the WildLab piloted a program in NYC schools that engaged learners in real scientific data collection. Using iPhones, over 500 5th- through 12th-grade students collected thousands of GPS-tagged bird sightings in green spaces near their classrooms. These sightings were then sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in scientific research.
Students enjoyed the WildLab program, found the iPhone app helpful, easy, and fun, demonstrated increased content knowledge, and had increased interest in studying science and pursuing careers in science after the 5-session program.
Every teacher that participated said they would participate again if offered the opportunity. The program connected the students' environment to the global climate issues we all face, through data.
Want to use the WildLab in your school? Go ahead, it's free. If you would like us to provide iPhones, or come to your school or greenspace to facilitate your outdoor explorations, contact us and we'll help figure out what's right for you.
The application, called "The WildLab Edu" is available in the iTunes app store. Learn more and see it here.
If you want an Android version, it's coming.
Want to share your program or activity with other educators?
Send it to us, and we'll add it to the educational materials supporting the mobile phone app and Web site.
See our growing list of schools and collaborators here.
In collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, we developed a version of space invaders, except that it was with 350 million-year-old living fossils! To help scientists collect better data on horseshoe crabs, the app follows a well-established protocol, uses GPS, and uploads counts to an online database. Click here for more info.
If you are interested in using this application, contact us. We haven't released it to the public yet, but would be happy to add you to our beta group.
Interested in other marine life or fish? Let us know.
Our collaborative models can be tailored to many different citizen science activities on diverse mobile platforms. If you have an idea for your own mobile application, contact us and we will be happy to talk about our experiences and help you and your institution develop your mobile strategy.