Twin Cities Public Televison and 3M launched a new website that offers science and technology served up for teens. TPT and 3M developed this idea in response to declining student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). So what is going to make this so different from any other science and technology website? Sparticl is a place where teens not only find and read information but they interact and can even contribute to the content.
Sparticl is free and will have both desktop and mobile access. There will be featured articles, videos, games and hands-on projects from sites that are vetted by the Sparticl team to be sure they are teen-appropriate.
“The Web can be bewildering and frustrating for students searching for STEM content, yet there are excellent STEM websites that students never find because they’re not on the first page of Google,” said Dr. Richard Hudson, executive producer at TPT. “Sparticl makes search simple by bringing together the best of the best – it’s great for homework or satisfying a curiosity about anything from nanotechnology, to rainforests, to baseball physics. Even more important are the social and gaming features we’ve created to keep kids coming back again and again.”
TPT says that test results have shown that interest in STEM dramatically decreases in middle school. TPT hopes that giving teens the reigns and making them a critical part of the website (allowing them to rank content, comment, share it, recommend it and earn points) will bring a renewed interest in STEM.
“One great thing about Sparticl is that it includes both fun activities as well as educational resources. If you want to write a research paper, you will find great information on Sparticl, and it’s all credible,” saidHanna Endrias, 14, of Washington, D.C.
“There’s also a point system, so while you’re checking out these great links, you can also get rewarded for actually looking at the stuff, which is really cool,” adds Kyle Tamondong, 14, of Woodbury, Minn.
“STEM education is critical to our success at 3M, as well as sustaining global communities. Sparticl helps create the next generation of innovative thinkers,” said Kim Price, vice president of 3Mgives. “Science and engineering education is a priority of our giving and volunteer programs. 3M sponsored TPT’s production of the classic science series Newton’s Apple, and we’re delighted to partner with TPT once again on another ground-breaking STEM initiative.”
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