Science Education: Sci-Inspire Revolutionizes Science StudiesBy Jane Reed, UniversityHerald Reporter
According to a recent study from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, American science education is in crisis mode.
The United States currently ranks 20th when it comes to scientific achievements in developing countries. According to the TIMSS, this has real world consequences.
For example, now, the average American is now more skeptical about the seriousness of global warming than he was back in 1977, cites The Observer. Which is why Sci-Inspire, a non profit social network start up company is invested in connecting college science majors with K-12 educators online.
Located in New York and Washington, DC, Sci-Inspire sends college major students into classrooms with K-12 educators to teach lessons and help with science fairs.
Sci-Inspire is lead by Matt Schaff. He developed the service when he was an undergraduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He wondered what else he could do to expand the Pitt Science Outreach Program to benefit students at other colleges. "I thought this was one area where a matchmaking software application would make leaps and bounds," says Schaff.
After the conception of Sci-Inspire, Schaff hopes to combat today's issues with the science social network. Sci-Inspire matches teachers and students based on their specific needs. In this way, educators are matched to teach lessons on biology, robotics and other science major classes at Columbia University and George Washington University.
After hearing about this program, Columbia immediately signed up. Once the Sci-Inspire platform was up and running, the Columbia group linked up with several schools in Harlem to partner on a pilot program that was based on the teachers' needs. It is a growing network.
The George Washington University chapter is taking a similar boots-on-the-ground approach. There are sixty certified Sci-Inspire student volunteers at GW that are encountering a problem - teachers are swamped.
Which is why Sci-Inspire is looking at Marquette University for help. And Schaff adds that several other schools around the United States have expressed their interest in joining the network. Ultimately, Schaff hopes "for the clear benefits of science outreach in science education to explode."