Around the world, millions of students do not have access to high-quality science education and experiences. Whether due to economic or geographic limitations, too many students in secondary and undergraduate education systems lack opportunities to engage meaningfully in the scientific process. Globally, this has led to clear and significant gaps in diversity across scientific fields as well as in scientific literacy overall.
At LabXchange, we want to ensure that students everywhere have equal opportunity to prepare for and be successful in science. The solutions to humanity’s biggest challenges—from global health crises to environmental issues, such as climate change—will be tackled by future scientists. And regardless of academic major or career, everyone deserves the opportunity to be a part of the discussion about the role of science in society and the many ways that science impacts our lives.
As a free online platform, LabXchange allows anyone, anywhere to experience science. By creating an online community for learning, sharing and collaboration, we hope to transform science education by fostering lifelong learning and opportunity for all.
Here are a few examples of LabXchange's inclusive approach to scientific literacy:
- Rather than level or grade, content on LabXchange is tagged with background knowledge. This is the level of background knowledge in a topic that will best allow the learner to engage with the material: none, some, or extensive.
- Similarly, our simulations are designed so that learners can select the level that makes the most sense for them. Before beginning a simulation, learners are prompted to choose a level that will dictate the amount of text-based prompts they receive.
- Those with the least familiarity or experience with the technique can choose level 1 to receive more detailed instruction.
- Learners who feel that they have some familiarity select level 2.
- Learners who feel most confident with the technique of the simulation can opt for level 3.
- The technique they are practicing, and the experimental process addressed in the lab protocol simulation, is the same regardless of level.
- Our wide variety of content allows learners to explore science from different perspectives, and to find the topic that resonates with them most. Whether it's ecology, bioethics, or scientific communication, there is something on LabXchange for everyone.
- We also demonstrate the diverse paths and inspirations that move people to engage with science. Through method videos, narratives, text articles and more, LabXchange showcases the many voices, perspectives and passions that contribute to a thriving scientific community.