Europe needs young people, who are skilful in and enthusiastic for science and regard science as their future career field, in order to guarantee competiveness and prosperity. To ensure this, large scale initiatives are needed that engage students in motivating and interesting science experiences. Such initiatives should follow an Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) approach to involve teachers as the main stakeholder and to ensure engagement of other stakeholders, e.g. science laboratory providers.
The Go-Lab project aims to encourage young people to engage in science topics, acquire scientific inquiry skills, and experience the culture of doing science by undertaking active guided experimentation. Targeting students from 10 to 18 years old, Go-Lab offers the opportunity to perform personalized scientific experiments with online labs in pedagogically structured and scaffold learning spaces that are extended with collaboration facilities.
The Go-Lab Portal thus offers students:
- access to scientific instruments (remote and virtual laboratories) for investigations
- access to research data archives
- use of advanced tools for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization
- structured learning spaces based on a well-defined inquiry cycle
- cognitive scaffolds for the inquiry process
- facilities and support for communication and collaboration on scientific topics and data
The online labs can be used in the context of school education, but also for self-regulated learning activities, e.g. by students interested in particular scientific topics. Using the online labs, students acquire also competencies and skills needed to perform scientific research and experiments at a professional level, thus, getting prepared for the future start in science.