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Fusing Simulation, Sensors, and Data Exploration to Foster Seamless Inquiry Learning

About this event

Chad Dorsey, Concord Consortium and Uri Wilensky, Northwestern University

12:00-1:00pm Distinguished Lecture

2:30-4:00pm InquirySpace Technologies


Meaningful student-originated investigations are challenging to orchestrate and conduct in the classroom. Barriers of time, space, equipment, and student background magnify the challenge of supporting student projects. InquirySpace takes a fresh look at how to give students an authentic research experience complete with data collection and analysis, based on both physical and virtual experiments. Through InquirySpace, we are designing an integrated cyberinfrastructure and a learning sequence that permits middle and high school students to undertake significant scientific investigations.

By embedding simulations and sensor data collectors in a data analysis environment, we are able to aid students in gathering, visualizing, and analyzing data from multiple sources. The combination of technologies in InquirySpace creates a flexible environment that students can use for a wide range of their own investigations.


Uri Wilensky is a professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He also holds appointments in cognitive science, the program in Technology and Social Behavior and the Segal Design Center research council. He is the founder and current director of the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling and a co-founder of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). Dr. Wilensky received his PH.D from the MIT Media Lab. His research interests include design of learning technologies, agent-based modeling environments and STEM education. He has an abiding interest in the changing content of knowledge in the context of ubiquitous computation, and its implications for making sense of complexity. His NetLogo agent-based modeling software has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, including scientists from a wide range of disciplines and students from middle school through graduate school. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, numerous model-based curricular units and has received many grants including the NSF Career Award. He is a co-founder of the journal Technology, Knowledge and Learning.

Chad Dorsey is President and CEO of the Concord Consortium, which has been an innovation leader in researching and developing STEM educational technology for the past twenty years. In this role, Dorsey oversees dozens of NSF-funded projects investigating educational technology applications in STEM. In addition to serving as PI on the InquirySpace project, Dorsey has served as PI for an NSDL Collections project on modeling and simulation and currently serves as Co-PI on Geniverse, a DRK-12 project developing a game-based genetics curriculum. As a leader in educational technology across the field, Dorsey serves on numerous professional workshops and advisory groups, including the advisory board for CADRE, the DRK-12 support network. Prior to joining the Concord Consortium in 2008, Dorsey led teacher professional development workshops as a member of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. He has also taught science in classrooms from middle schools through college and has guided educational reform efforts at the district-wide and whole-school levels. While earning his B.A. in physics at St. Olaf College and his M.A. in physics at the University of Oregon, Dorsey conducted experimental fluid mechanics research, built software models of Antarctic ice streams, and dragged a radar sled by hand across South Cascade Glacier. He first met computers when his family hooked an Apple II to their fancy new color TV set, and he's been a shameless geek ever since.


The Webinar will be held from 12:00pm to 1:00pm Eastern Time on Monday June 16, 2014.

Please register at: https://nsf.webex.com/nsf/j.php?ED=262041437&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday June 15, 2014.

After your registration is accepted, you will receive an email with a URL to join the meeting. Please be sure to join a few minutes before the start of the webinar. This system does not establish a voice connection on your computer; instead, your acceptance message will have a toll-free domestic phone number that you will be prompted to call after joining. In the event the number of requests exceeds the capacity, some requests may have to be denied.