As schools look for ways to incorporate more science instruction on a shoestring budget, Toronto-based educational gaming company Spongelab Interactive has a resource that can help.
Spongelab.com is an interactive, online science learning platform that is available free of charge to registered members. It contains hundreds of educational games, 3D animations and simulations (such as a new “Build a Body” simulation), and stunning scientific images—all tied together within a content management system that provides detailed analytics and reporting tools for tracking student progress and engagement.
Educators can explore digital content and organize this content into lessons, annotate it, share it with students, and present it in class. Members of the Spongelab community also can upload their own teaching materials, such as images, lesson plans, videos, and case studies—making the site a vibrant, open space for communicating about science.
But Spongelab.com is also a game. Users earn rewards in the form of credits and experience points that can be redeemed for premium resources and features. Credits and experience points are earned by every action performed on the site: searching, viewing, creating, contributing, referring, and even finding hidden activities. Redeeming credits provides access to more content at no monetary cost—opening up the world of science for everyone regardless of their budget, the site’s creators say.