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Wiki Experiments: Science and Engineering Explorations


WeSee is a community of professionals and academics helping develop inquisitiveness, scientific reasoning, inquiry skills, and an understanding of the processes of science in the next generation of scientists and engineers.

At
WeSee, scientists and engineers serve as volunteer principal investigators (VPIs) to mentor high school students in co-curricular or extra-curricular explorations to enrich their understanding of the process of science.

Explorations are ongoing, experimental projects designed by the VPIs to expose young adults to traditional science (e.g. physics, biology), engineering, and cross-disciplinary fields(e.g. environmental science, medicine).

Explorers (student researchers) contribute to these projects by posing questions, developing experiments, and posting results and discussion to their project's wiki.

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Explorations

The art of science lies in asking testable questions, desiging accurate and reliable experiments or tests, careful analysis of data, and communication of results to our community. Explorations allow students to experience science and engineering first hand, not by testing established laws or researching advanced topics, but by joining a community of researchers who use scientific inquriy to understand the behavior of nature.
Exploration threads are ongoing research projects hosted by WeSee, directed by one or more volunteer principal investigators (VPIs), and advanced by the contributions of high school students. Exploration threads are organized around a scientific theme (eg. the physics of baseball) or an engineering problem (eg. design an inexpensive wind turbine) and consist of student designed Explorations. During an Exploration, students develop testable questions, design experiments, collect and analyze data, and open new lines of research for others.
Explorations are, foremost, guided by students' questions and interests and built from students' experimental investigations.

Wiki Experiments

A wiki is a flexible and collaborative format for completing and reporting science and engineering work. Compared to a traditional written lab document, wikis are adaptable a broader range of media (hyperlinks, equations, images, audio, video) which can be very useful for describing or reporting an experiment. Take a look around the Explorations page to see how a wiki "lab report" differs from a traditional lab report.
Wikis also encourage collaboration by easily allowing and tracking changes made to the document by users anywhere internet access is available. Wikis often have asynchronous discussion threads that allow participants to communicate about progress or changes to the page. At WeSee, theis allows Explorers and VPIs to maintain a working relationship without physical proximity.
Finally, the work done by Explorers on WeSee is immediately available to all other participants in the community. Rather than existing in isolation, Explorations build upon prior work much in the same way science advances by simultaneously answering and asking questions. Because of the wiki format, WeSee Explorers have a unique opportunity to become part of the advance of a field of research.

Want to join or host an Exploration?

WeSee is in development for Fall 2009. If you have questions or would like to participate, contact us at WeSeeAdmin at gmail.com.