The Gulf of Maine Research Institute's (GMRI) educational program, LabVenture!, for Maine's 5th and 6th grade students is a half-day, interactive, multi-media science program that takes place at GMRI in Portland, Maine. The supporting website is designed to extend the students' and educators' LabVenture! experience through providing online resources such as classroom lesson plans, personal student websites, and an ongoing conversation about science on a student accessible blog.
GMRI strives to provide a safe place for students to explore science through access to personal data collected during their visit, ongoing online conversations about science, and experiences designed for their classroom and schoolyard.
As teachers register their students for LabVenture!, they will be entering students’ first and last names and their grade level on an online registration form. This form will only be accessible by the teacher and GMRI education staff. No other personal information will be collected about the students. Prior to participating in LabVenture! students must have a permission form (provided from GMRI to the teacher) signed by a parent or guardian.
Throughout GMRI's LabVenture! program, students will be completing scientific investigations at four LabVenture! stations. During these investigations, students will be taking team photographs, recording hypothesis and conclusion videos, and taking digital photographs.
All of this digital content collected by the students will be saved to their own personal websites. Any inappropriate content discovered by staff will be deleted. Each student's personal website will only be accessible by them, their teammates, their teachers, and GMRI education staff. By entering their personal usernames and passwords that they receive after their visit, students will have the ability to view the data collected during their visit to GMRI.
These student websites are meant to provide students with a useful and personal record of their experience at GMRI's LabVenture! program. These websites can also be used by educators to dive deeper into content areas explored throughout the program as indicated in online classroom lesson plans.
GMRI is offering a new way to extend students’ personal experiences by providing an online forum for interested students to discuss marine science and related topics. GMRI staff and invited scientists will post articles of interest on this blog, and students will have the opportunity to comment on and ask questions about blog entries. These comments will in turn be read by marine scientists and educators at GMRI. This will be a monitored conversation where students will not be asked for any personal information.