When students using the Ask a Biologist Web site ask questions of a fictional character named Dr. Biology, they are actually accessing the combined knowledge of more than 150 volunteer experts in the field of biology and related areas.
"That's why Dr. Biology is so amazing," says Charles Kazilek, who created the Web site. "He's the most brilliant biologist on the planet."
Kazilek's site, which attracts 3,000-4,000 visitors a day during the school year, has been selected to receive the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) for its engaging question-and-answer approach, as well as the corresponding materials on the Web site, the majority of which have been requested by users.
"The site blends science facts with intriguing content, imaginative graphic elements, and a real connection between a questioning public and scientific experts," says Melissa McCartney, editorial fellow at Science.
Science magazine developed the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) to spotlight the best online materials in science education. The acronym SPORE suggests a reproductive element adapted to develop, often in less-than-ideal conditions, into something newindicating that these winning projects may be the seed of significant progress in science education, despite considerable challenges to educational innovation. Science publishes an article by each recipient of the award, which explains the winning project. The article about Ask a Biologist will be published on November 26.
"We're trying to advance science education," says Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of Science. "This competition provides much-needed recognition to innovators in the field whose efforts promise significant benefits for students and for science literacy in general. The publication in Science of an article on each Web site will help guide educators around the globe to valuable free r
|Contact: Natasha Pinol|
American Association for the Advancement of Science