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- Firoz Hasan
Tab-Based Interactive Science Laboratory for school’s Students.
The objective of this project is to use create an interactive science laboratory on the tab for the students in grade 3, 4, and 5 of the primary stage. The proposed application is supposed to help the students in such grades to implement and interact with the scientific experiments mentioned in their science books using augmented reality and graphics in a risk-free environment
Being citizens of third world countries, It has been heard since very beginning of life that getting high marks in school will ensure future & help in getting admission in faculties of universities that are of high demand. Moreover, it has been guaranteed with jobs after graduation. No scope for creativity, zero innovation & invention. Most people only concentrated on official jobs but they don’t think about development and interact much with nature. It is said as proverb that learning in childhood is similar to stone inscription that’s hard to be erased. The problem is that people are motivated wrongly since childhood & not knowing the main aim for education and learning. This is the main problem of third world countries that leads to the opposite direction of development. The problems remain as they were. The main aim for education and knowledge and learning is to use them properly to solve daily life problems, to have a better life by doing researches and make progress in natural science. In one word, to survive and live in this world it is obligatory to know about its nature and exploitation of it for existence. If children are motivated by this reason then there will be no excuses for aggravation. Moreover, interaction with nature is a great factor that can make big differences. As this application will be related to virtual lab interaction that satisfies the needs of the pupil of primary stage, so it is necessary to discuss about the importance of lab and lack of labs’ effect in Egypt. It’s proven scientifically that picture is the best way to memorize things. So lab is definitely the most suitable place to learn the most because everything here is real or can be seen. Moreover, as it has been mentioned before that anything learned in the beginning of childhood will be always remembered. For example, it’s seen that plant is guided by fences to grow it in one direction. So they grow up as strong rooted tree. Similar to plant, pupils of primary stage must be directed in this way. They must be given chances to attend lab in order to understand the natural science easily and in it’s way practically by interaction. So they will grow up as a well educated person. However, as Egypt is a third world country, labs can’t be provided in most schools because of lack of funding, intention etc. For that reason I am going to create virtual lab interaction application to help our primary stage’s pupils. So it’s time to figure out the reason of superiority of Western education.
Motivation of Western Science Related Education & It’s superiority
Western education is characterized by the right motivation for children with right direction and direct interaction with nature. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. This proverb is well explained by Western education practically. For example, a person does something certain when he needs to do it or forced. If problems are on his way, then he thinks more creatively until he reaches to his destination. We as human beings work or solve our problems for only one purpose and that is our existence. Western education successfully penetrates through the logic of children with idea that you must or have to study or have enough education in natural science because of your survival. Moreover, with additional weapons such as lab for interaction with nature and creative stuffs that successfully encourages them to learn natural sciences. So Western (European) education leads its nation towards the path of continuous development.
Virtual lab interaction application is not a new idea to do projects on. There are many past projects that are presently in use by many research centers and universities. Followings are examples of projects that are widely used by many institutions.
The Virtual Lab Series
The Virtual Stickleback Evolution Lab has won several awards, including top honors in the Pirelli International Award competition, which recognizes it as the best multimedia products designed to use the Internet to educate about science and technology. BioInteractive’s series of virtual labs provides students with the opportunity to practice the skills and techniques of scientific research in a fully interactive, virtual environment.
Virtual lab online
Moreover, Virtual lab online applications is designed by Indian public universities under the governance of Ministry of Human Resource Development to support students and to ease the burden of problems.
Now it is obligatory to discuss about the proposed solution of problem. Before moving to the other points of analysis, it’s needed to conclude the point of problems or complains that because of poor education system that unsuccessfully delivers the aim or purpose of education, many students are forced to study subjects that are not in very need. Now, as it has been written previously that one of the main differences between two education systems is lab or interaction with the curriculum. The simple solution of our problem is building labs in schools. However, as this project is been done specifically about Egypt, this is almost impossible to be implanted. There are many reasons behind impossibility such as lack of funding in education field, lack of honest intentions etc. The main reason is the lack of honest intentions of government or in other words though it may have honest intentions, failure is always on their way because of implementation technique and future planning. Moreover, this is a long time process that can do nothing instantly for our problem. So it’s time to think for other alternatives. As in this part of project, the proposed solution is to create an Android application of virtual lab interaction. Virtual lab interaction application is where students of primary stage can do experiments on their Android tablets. Nowadays, tablets are in very affordable price and are very popular with middle class families. In very near future, tablets will be all over and in every one’s hand. Moreover, most of tablets are run by Android OS. So virtual lab interaction will be very useful to our students of primary stage. This application has many good features such as it’s environment is completely safe and doesn’t contain any hazardous or dangerous materials compared to real labs. Moreover, it’s user friendly interaction and easy movement of scientific materials eases the process of learning and saves time greatly compared to the real one. It’s must to be mentioned that I am going to add other features such as videos of experiments, puzzles and small quizzes. Moreover, whole the curriculum will be explained in very simple and organized way with animations and pictures and followed by small quizzes.
Interactive Science Laboratory Description & Properties
This application is similar to portable lab. It’s the virtual lab for tablets to handle experiments, simulate & analyze with different kind of lab tools.
In this application, it is possible to conduct real life experiments & it enables the parallax effect from different angles so users will get experience like a real lab.
Risk Free Conduct dangerous experiments without worrying about anything like breaking beakers or getting cut by broken glass.
Deeper Learning Utilization different label helps to get the precise mass, temperature, thickness and volume of each substance in holders.
Language : java
Operating System : Android
IDE : Eclipse , Android Studio
Application Framework : libGDX
Timetable indicating the activities and their target dates
Documentation & Presentation
Activities Target Result
The Analysis Phase is where defines complete Strategical direction all over the tab-based interactive science laboratory project lifecycle & break down high level project needs to more detailed requirements. It’s required to gather requirements in this phase which simply asks at what is needed for this project. So analysis phase will identify gaps between reality and goals.
This design phase will identify architecture, blueprints & how the application looks like. The design phase shows how those functions will actually be implemented in the system. This phase will utilize gathered information of analysis phase. This is the phase where identify what the application needs, how to use it, how much current idea of application needs to change based on requirements. In this tab-based interactive science laboratory project design phase is going to have scenario & drawing of each experiments. It will explains every single details of each experiments, what will happen when users press button, how to interact with application etc. So it’s needed to be careful in design phase, as any flaw or error can lead a failure application.
After completing design phase it’s time to start implementation. So main focus of developing or actual coding will start in this phase. It will take the longest time in whole project. Basically for this tab-based interactive science laboratory application the core programming language will be java & special development application framework called libGDX. libGDX uses some third-party libraries to provide its functionality, these include Lightweight Java Game Library, OpenGL, FreeType, mpg123, Vorbis, SoundTouch Audio Processing Library, Box2D, OpenAL, and Kiss FFT etc.
This phase provides information about quality of the application, ideally testing will exercise the system in all possible ways. It reveals bugs, detect flaws in application, identify logical error etc. The main goal is to evaluate the system as a whole, not its parts.
Documentation & Presentation Phase
It is the final phase which is going to take approximately 3-4 weeks. It’s needed to make presentation & write dissertation 70 – 80 pages which should contain abstract, methodology, results, conclusion, references.
Benefits & Advantages
- No more lab required, just need a tablet.
- Risk free so learning process is fast & fearless.
- Hands on experience so student learn by doing experiments.
- Every experiments add some new features with very interesting and user friendly interface & a lot of multimedia.
- No complex setup or installation required.
- Every experiments is like scenario of a story so the student will never feel bored & easy to understand. So this application teach them, help them in doing experiments , & test their capabilities of doing scientific experiments.
- Generally student has
- School Book – where they can only see experiments picture and imagine.
- External Book – some extra exercise nothing more.
- School Lab – limited time access & not risk free environment.
This application will implement the experiments more than once in a risk free environment, students are required to use them interactively & learn the experiments by themselves, this application is going to test students capabilities through some exercises and quiz’s & by this way it is possible to get all benefit without any disadvantages. At last it can be hoped & expected that tab-based interactive science laboratory project can serve primary level students well & students will get benefitted from this application.
- “Chemical Reactions.”Chemical Reactions. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.Retrieved from http://www.learningscience.org/psc3cchemrxs.htm
- ” And, Les.PHASE 7: TEST PHASE(n.d.): n. pag. Web.. Retrieved from http://doit.maryland.gov/SDLC/Documents/SDLC Phase 07 Integration and Test Phase Multiple Hardware.pdf
- “Biochemistry and Molecular Biology EducationVolume 29, Issue 4, Article First Published Online: 10 OCT 2008.”Development and Evaluation of Virtual Labs and Other Interactive Learning Tools.Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1539-3429.2001.tb00108.x/pdf
- Christou, Ioannis T., Thanassis Tiropanis, Sofia Tsekeridou, and Konstantinos Roussos. “Grid-based Interactive Virtual Scientific Experiments for Distributed Virtual Communities.”International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning20.6 (2010):Retrieved from http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/265273/1/LGH-book-chapter.pdf
- “KET Virtual Physics Labs.”KET Virtual Physics Labs Blog Posts RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.Retrieved from http://virtuallabs.ket.org/physics/
- “Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab | HHMI’s BioInteractive.”HHMI.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/lizard-evolution-virtual-lab
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