The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and the Amgen Foundation have announced the launch of LabXchange, a free online platform designed to address barriers to quality science education.
LabXchange provides users with access to personalized instruction, virtual lab experiences, and networking opportunities, with the goals of driving greater inclusion within the global scientific community and sparking collaborations that foster creative, team-based approaches to real-world challenges. Among other things, the platform features free access to a library of educational content that can be customized for a single classroom or an individual student, as well as global networking functionality, enabling teachers to collaborate beyond a single classroom, school, or district.
Funded through a $6.5 million commitment from the Amgen Foundation, the platform builds on other foundation-supported programs, including the Amgen Biotech Experience and Amgen Scholars. To date, the foundation has given more than $150 million in support of science education programming globally.
"Too many high school and college students lack the opportunity to directly explore the scientific process — where you build a hypothesis, understand a method, and determine how to apply it to an appropriate experimental problem," said Robert Lue, principal investigator of LabXchange and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard. "For many students, science can feel like a collection of facts to memorize — which is contrary to what the scientific process is. It's a journey that requires bold thinking and deep imagination. With LabXchange, more students can come together and experience the joy of discovery."