The OpenScience Laboratory: a globally available online lab at the cutting edge of practical science teaching
Abstract: The OpenScience Laboratory is a virtual lab that enables students and the public to carry out experiments and make scientific observations online. Launching in July 2013, the lab will provide as authentic an experience as possible using real data within a platform that offers many of the social support mechanisms of a university teaching laboratory location. Some of the experiments in the lab include: access to real physical instruments and equipment through robotically controlled experiments; interactive screen experiments; virtual instruments and labs; immersive 3D experiments; virtual field trips; and mass participation ‘citizen science’ networks. There are a range of platform tools to support structured inquiry, user conversations and assessment. The Lab is intended to be open – available to other universities and the general public globally and as a central point for resources developed by users – and to be a long term development that will improve access to practical science learning.