The Japanese Science and Technology Center offers nine outstanding science lessons. The list of lessons and activities covers topics in physics, biology, psychology, geography, and space science. The general format of each virtual lesson is to present a manageable chunk of information followed by activities in which students try to use that information. I hesitate to generalize the activities as games because not all of them are games and those that are games are not “drill” games. Each lesson has multiple parts (some have 20+ parts) and multiple activities.
The logo displayed at the top of this post is from JST’s Earth Guide which is an eight part virtual lesson about the Earth’s place in the solar system and the environment of the the Earth. Each of the eight parts of JST’s Earth Guide features multiple forms of information.
The virtual lesson that drew me to JST is the Mind Lab. Mind Lab is a virtual lesson on biology and psychology. The lesson is designed to make students think about the ways in which they perceive the things they see. Mind Lab has four introductory video lesson about the way in which we absorb information and how what we perceive might not be reality. One sample activity from the Mind Lab helps students discover their “blind spots” and teaches them how people sometimes become oblivious to their blind spots.
Applications for Education
The Japanese Science and Technology Center’s Virtual Science Center’s lessons are appropriate for middle school and high school use. Some lessons offer more depth than others, but all of the activities offer excellent content. Here is the full list of lessons: Mind Lab, Search for ET, Physics of Amusement Parks, Optical Communications, Earth Guide, The World of Rust, Energy Transmission in Sports, the Human Genome, and the Mysteries of the Body.