Change Makers: Crowdsolving the Energy Challenge through Cyber-Enabled Out-of-School Citizen Science Programs (Telelab)

Thursday, November 5, 2020 to Friday, December 31, 2021
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions | Projects
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Public Programs, Citizen Science Programs
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
General STEM
Institute for Future Intelligence

Informal learning environments offer a range of educational observations. Lately, many venues have adopted livestreaming and digital archiving, both as additional access for a wider offsite audience and as alternative ways to engage the onsite audience. Students can observe animals and plants from a different continent through a live camera feed, or they can watch an online recording of a science experiment even if they missed the live demonstration. However, livestreamed or archived observations remain a mostly passive experience, offering limited interactions beyond watching the videos. One way to create more active learning opportunities from these observations is to use sensors such as thermal cameras as additional streaming devices, which transmit real-time images and data that not only reveal more about what is being observed, but also allow the audience to ask deeper questions, find answers by interacting with the data, apply science knowledge in a relevant context, and become an active participant in scientific inquiry.

This project has created Telelab, a cloud platform for livestreaming and archiving interactive observations to promote citizen science. Powered by the Internet of things (IoT), Telelab allows informal science educators to present exhibits, living organisms or ecosystems through the use of sensors and actuators. Audiences both onsite and offsite can visualize biological processes in situ, such as thermoregulation, thermogenesis, metabolism, etc., or they can investigate physics and chemistry experiments by analyzing experimental data in combination with the video stream.

This work is funded by The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.


Funding Program: 
Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 
Funding Amount: 

Team Members

Charles XieCharles XiePrincipal Investigator
Shannon SungShannon SungContributor
Rundong JiangRundong JiangContributor

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