Project

Rebuilding LabVenture

Developing a new, more immersive LabVenture experience

As a centerpiece of the NASA-funded Real World, Real Science project, GMRI reimagined, developed, and launched a new LabVenture experience in September 2018. This effort led to an improved, more immersive and complete LabVenture experience that supports climate and data literacy in middle schoolers throughout the state.

Project Goals:

  • Build students’ climate and data literacy as they investigate real scientific questions.
  • Combine engaging interactive technology and hands-on components using tools of science.
  • Enable students to collaborate and reflect on their work in both team and class settings.
  • Translate LabVenture more seamlessly to classroom activities, strengthening the connection between formal and informal learning.
Go behind the scenes with Chief Education Officer Leigh Peake for an inside look at the making of LabVenture. The new LabVenture is a totally unique science learning experience that places students at the center of some of the most important questions scientists explore every day.

Over two years in the making, the new LabVenture program combines our years of experience delivering prior LabVenture programs to over 100,000 students from around the state with the goals and opportunities realized through the Real World, Real Science project. The interactive experience tells a compelling story that embraces the complexity of ecosystem change and balances a host of design requirements: user engagement, connections to standards, use of NASA data resources, localization, grade-level appropriateness, multiple representations of data, using the tools of science, and narrative cohesion.

Upswell, GMRI’s experience design partner for this effort, led the rigorous experience development process. It began in 2016 with product discovery and experience design phases, the incorporation of feedback from students, teachers, GMRI staff, the Real World, Real Science project team, and experts in the science, technology, and education fields. The production process started in early 2018, moving from design to specific wireframes to final specs for software development. Once the experience was complete, the next stage included user testing with students, feedback from the RWRS project team, and an external science review panel.

Since its launch in 2018, we have continuously made improvements to the content, technology, and accessibility affordances to better achieve our learning objectives and improve the overall user experience. Our work was informed by project evaluation activities and other feedback by program stakeholders. Most recently, in response to distance learning requirements posed by COVID-19, we have made some of the interactive activities available to students online as part of the LabVenture Express program.

Want to learn more?

For more information about LabVenture, visit the program's webpage by clicking the link below.

Project Sponsor

NASA logo

This material is based upon work supported by NASA under grant number NNX16AB94A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Project Partners

  • Upswell logo
  • Education Development center logo
  • Stanford AAA lab logo
  • Montishire museum of science logo
  • Maine discovery museum logo

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