Real Science: Making Connections to Research and Scientific Data

Real Science: Making Connections to Research and Scientific Data

Jim Spadaccini
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-935-9.ch036
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Almost since the inception of the World Wide Web, scientific images in a variety of fields of study have been publicly available. However, in most cases the images lacked support materials making them difficult for the public to understand. Recently science centers and other educational organizations have begun to create Web-based resources that help mediate and explain compelling scientific imagery. This chapter looks at the development of four educational Web sites that utilize actual scientific imagery. Ideum developed these sites over the last four years with the Exploratorium, NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum, and the Tech Museum of Innovation. From a developer’s perspective, the creation process for each site is presented. A critical examination explains why certain decisions concerning design, site structure, technical approach, content, and presentation were made and how lessons learned from one project were applied to the next. Finally, the chapter looks at how sites that utilize “real science” can help science centers fulfill their mission of reaching the public and assisting them in better understanding scientific research and the scientific process.

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