Jun 01, 2020 2020-06-01
The Virtual Koshland Science Museum, now part of the National Academy of Sciences’ LabX program for students, offers a beautiful interactive feature on the anatomy of the human brain. Users can toggle between exterior and interior brain views, rotate the image, light up different areas of the brain, and get corresponding definitions by clicking or tapping on specific functions. LabX also presents a collection of online experiences. In Earth Lab, for example, students learn about the causes of climate change, its impacts, and potential solutions. They examine observed changes, explore the sources of carbon dioxide, and discover regional impacts. In Life Lab, students explore the science of healthy living from before birth to old age. They learn why we age and how we change at different life stages. And they find out about brain structures and functions that help us learn. Through the online Infectious Disease experience, students get an in-depth view of the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that surround us, the types of infectious diseases they can cause, and the scientific challenges involved in targeting them. In addition to these and other online experiences, the museum hosts a set of webquests that explore climate change (Global Warming and Our Future), extreme events (Disaster Resilience), genetic disease (Putting DNA to Work), and infectious disease (Bird Flu Epidemic). Other teacher resources include classroom activities for middle school and high school on the HIV viral infection pathway in a human cell. The site also offers virtual field trips, one of which relates to the evolving challenges of infectious disease to human health; another explores how scientists put DNA to work to identify, test for, and treat genetic diseases, changing the way medicine is practiced and driving discovery of new types of drugs and treatments. Students can also explore interactives, videos, images, and more in the museum’s multimedia gallery.