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"Creating Student Scientists, not just science students."

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Pathfinder Science F.A.Q.

Where did Pathfinder Science come from?
Pathfinder Science is an open, international community made up of researchers, teachers, citizens, and students interested in conducting collaborative research. The research community building process began in October of 1997 supported by a U.S. Department of Education, Technology Innovation Challenge grant as the Kansas Collaborative Research Network. This international collaboration began working together to create an international research community that demonstrates that doing science is a better way of learning science.

Pathfinder Science was "born" in August of 2002 at the end of the grant funding cycle. The participating teachers have greatly extended the original research concept. It now includes new research areas that involve Mathematics and the Social Sciences. The addition of new projects in these discipline areas has greatly extended the reach of the Pathfinder Science school-based science research model. The community (February 2004) now involves teachers and students from 30 countries and involves over 1200 registered classrooms. The community has many participants who have not registered their classrooms to contribute data, but are using Pathfinder Science materials for information, discussion and student research.

What is Pathfinder Science?
Pathfinder Science cultivates and celebrates the intellectual, imaginative and humanitarian promise of every learner. Pathfinder Science is a virtual community that practices mutual respect, embraces diversity, and inspires a passion for learning about the material world through science. This Collaborative Research community grew in an effort to fulfill the vision of national efforts to reform science and technology education. Pathfinder Science is an internet-based community of researchers, teachers, and students interested in conducting collaborative research. Pathfinder Science is committed to inquiry, as basic to education and as a controlling principle in the organization and selection of students' activities. Each research area is designed to help students develop the ability to conduct research and develop a deep understanding of scientific inquiry. Students at all grade levels have the opportunity to ask questions, plan and conduct investigations, use appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, think critically about relationships between evidence and explanations, construct and analyze alternative explanations, and communicate scientific arguments.
The Pathfinder community is working together to create and implement a project that demonstrates, doing science is a better way of learning science. The results of ongoing investigations add significantly to our understanding of the natural world.

How can I participate in Pathfinder Science?
In order to become an active member of the community, the first thing to do is visit our web site. The Pathfinder Science Teacher's Lounge. is a warm, supportive place for teachers involved in the research projects. The buttons on the left of each page in the Teacher's Area will take you to more general information, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), registration for your school, calendars, professional development opportunities, and other useful information.

On the upper part of the Pathfinder web pages there is a black bar with several links. These buttons will help you find your way around the web site. To begin your schools participation in the projects, you need to register your school. The registration is located in the Teachers area. You will now have an online form that you can fill out. Record all of the information requested in the boxes on the page. You can move between the boxes by using the tab key, or by using the mouse and clicking in the box. At the bottom of the form is a submit button. You will get back your information for one final check. If the form is complete and correct, hit the submit button on the bottom of this page and you will now be a member of the Pathfinder Science community.

You and your students can now participate fully in any of the projects that are of interest to you. Each project has several support features which should be of interest. Among these features are: downloadable data collected by schools, a description of experimental protocols for each project, a threaded discussion forum for each project, connections to mentors, and an area called ì Researchî in which students may enter the text and graphics of their research projects. We encourage all Pathfinder Science participants to upload some research projects this year.

When you register for Pathfinder Science you automatically become a member of the list. You will get a return message, by email, with additional information when you have joined the list.

© 1997-2007 PathFinder Science