World Wide Student Laboratory

About the World Wide Student Laboratory Project and DiscoverLab Corporation
      The World Wide Student Laboratory (WWSL) is an innovative advance in the delivery of science and engineering education over the Internet. The WWSL allows students anywhere in the world to control real science experiments in remote locations and to have access to equipment that would otherwise be unavailable. DiscoverLab Corporation is the company that operates the WWSL.
      Using the WWSL, students perform real experiments with real experimental set-ups and collect real, never before collected data for analysis, under the guidance of their professor, teacher, or, instructor. Without the WWSL, science over the internet is mostly restricted to tutorials, models and simulations. The WWSL also brings greater economic efficiency to existing university laboratories by eliminating instrumental downtime and creating a revenue source to offset purchase and maintenance costs while improving the educational experience.

      The WWSL can serve traditional universities, colleges and high schools, as well as distance education institutions, corporate training departments and governmental agencies. Using the WWSL's fundamentally new approach, educational institutions will be able to afford better facilities for the education they provide, access the best lab facilities in other institutions, and substantially broaden the number of lab study items in their curriculum. The WWSL can provide access to experiments in educational and scientific labs not only on earth, but also, in the future, to experiments on satellites and inter-planetary stations. It is important to emphasize that WWSL is not a "virtual" laboratory. It is a real lab where actual experiments (with all real-world "noise" effects) can be made.

      The laboratory subjects are organized by Topical Group Web Centers, which are created to conduct a particular series of student laboratory projects. Each Topical Group Web Center is connected to the sites of experimental set-ups at participating universities and research labs. Using this approach, students can be presented with laboratory work at different levels of difficulty (vertical structure), and with labs, which use various methods to obtain results (horizontal structure). Also, students can conduct simultaneous experiments with several set-ups, located in different places with differing experimental environments, and compare results. Topical Centers will make available necessary educational materials and software tools for experimental data analysis and modeling, reference materials, lectures, articles by recognized experts in the field, and more. The use of high-quality streaming media feedback will provide telepresence for participating students. DiscoverLab will bring real time experimentation and real data into the learning experience that could not previously be provided.

      The WWSL helps students overcome geographic and economic barriers and physical disabilities by providing access to world class science facilities and science education from anywhere.

The WWSL was developed in part with support from the National Science Foundation.