Advances In Online Learning: how it impacts STEM classes
- January 14, 2021 -

A new study shows that STEM students are doing well with online learning courses…

While we dearly miss the opportuity to work face-to-face with our many brilliant students, the past year has presented an interesting opportunity to use the T in the word STEM to an even greater degree. This period of growth and change has challenged us to figure out how to use technology more readily to teach science! So, how do you teach hands-on scientific research from a distance?

The benefit of our programs is that they were originally designed to provide students with foundational skills, then empower them to use those skills independently. Using technology, we can now reach more students at a lower cost, eliminating the time and expense of travel. We can deliver the science skills necessary to create a research project, and then have students do hands-on field work on their own.

What a new study shows: 

A new study published by Cornell University in April 2020 actually shows that college students do just as well in STEM classes through virtual learning as they do in person, yet they can access these courses at a fraction of the cost. 


In the study, the researchers developed a controlled, randomized trial to test whether students in Russia learned as much in online classes as they did in traditional in-person classes. For two courses during the 2017-18 academic year, the researchers randomly assigned 325 students to one of three versions: the online version of a course offered virtually; the in-person class offered by their local university; or a blended version that combined online lectures with in-person discussion groups.

They found that final exam scores did not differ significantly among the three versions.

This is great news for our programs! Access to STEM education that goes beyond the classroom is a particular challenge for many low income and minority populations, and we aim to change that. With the ease of digital deliverly, we hope that many more students can get inspired to learn science through our free online learning library.

You can read more about the Cornell study in this article from Science Daily.

What you can find in our online learning library:

Your chance to meet a new professional scientist each week through a livestreamed and recorded science presentation


These activities challenge watchers to create their own DIY project from home after watching a quick how-to video. 


We have a bunch of lessons designed to introduce science concepts as well as teach basic research methods, and even design a project from start to finish!


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