+ Web Site for Young Scientists: Post Your Experiments!

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TestToob is an online community where young people can collaborate on science.  Born in a backyard and incubated at the kitchen table, according to founder Lopa Mehrotra, it is open for business, but still in its beta phase.  Find it at www.TestToob.com.

Think of it as YouTube for science fans, writes Bill Wolfe in the Louisville Courier-Journal.  It’s geared for middle and high school students, and members post videos of their science experiments, view the videos of others, and rate them.

More social networking features will be added in the months to come, with avenues for sharing personal information, photos and forums.

Mehrotra, who was raised in Boston but moved to Louisville five years ago, is a mother of two.  She says she was looking for ways to integrate technology and education, as well as for a means to make science education more appealing.

She first considered a TV show — “kids doing science in their own backyard; [but] TV is so expensive, and I don’t even know if anybody watches TV anymore.”

Mehrotra has a background in political management and fundraising.  She tested the concept on children (her own and others) and found them all enthusiastic.  Even though it’s quite high-tech, she feels the idea really appeals to basic human nature.

In an early real-life test, TestToob took part in the Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana summer Bizcamp.  Each day, campers conducted and recorded a science experiment and posted the videos to the TestToob site.

“The kids were just fascinated by it,” according to Debra Hoffner, president of Junior Achievement of Kentuckana.  “I think the more  that we can put kids directly in touch with scientific experimentation, the more we’re going to pique their interest in science as a career.”

sole source: www.nky.com : article by Bill Wolfe on 8/14/08.

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