The Science Learning Network

October 1st, 1994 - December 31st, 1998 | PROJECT

The Franklin Institute proposes to establish the Science Learning Network (SLN), a unique online collaborative of science museums, industry and schools to support the teaching and learning of science, mathematics and technology (SMT) in grades K-8. The SLN will integrate the educational resources offered by science/technology centers with the power of telecomputing networking to provide powerful new support for teacher development and science learning. By December 1997 the SLN will develop and evaluate the following: UniVERSE - an online SMT database and software package which will provide interactive capabilities to actively and intelligently assist K-8 classroom teachers in their Internet explorations, much like an electronic "librarian." Online Museum Collaborative - a national consortium of science museums (The Franklin Institute, the Exploratorium, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Museum of Science - Boston, and Science Museum of Minnesota) that will pool their resources and expertise to create online assets and provide ongoing professional development on telecomputing networking for precollege SMT teachers. Online Demonstration Schools - a network of K-8 schools, working in collaboration with consortium museums and Unisys Corporation volunteers as demonstration sites for online teaching and learning in SMT. Over the course of three years, the SLN will provide direct support to 180 teachers and 3,000 K-8 students in the online demonstration schools. Through existing teacher networks, each museum will offer professional development for an additional 200 teachers each year. The Urban Systemic Initiatives in Philadelphia and Miami offer the potential for broader, systemic impact in those cities. By the end of the grant period, the SLN will provide field- tested models of a new kind of online SMT community through the collaboration of science museums with industry and schools. The sustainable impact of the SLN will be assured by UniVERSE's status as a publicly accessible database and software package and the development of the national consortium of online museums, whose network resources will be made available on an ongoing basis to educators. The three-year formative development of the online demonstration schools will contribute vital data to precollegiate school reform in SMT, showing how schools build capacity to become members of the online community and demonstrating how teaching and learning are enhanced by online resources. Unisys Corporation has pledged its support to this project and will provide matching funds for up to 40% of the total NSF award.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Stephen Baumann, Principal Investigator, Franklin Institute Science Museum
Wayne Ransom, Co-Principal Investigator, Franklin Institute Science Museum
Paul Helfrich, Co-Principal Investigator, Franklin Institute Science Museum


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9454714
Funding Amount: 3511179


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | Mathematics | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Resource Centers and Networks | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media