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  • NSF Funds Digital Blue Online Learning Effort
Dec 2003
ATLANTA, Dec. 31 -- Digital Blue, the consumer division of Prime Entertainment Inc., of Atlanta, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund an Internet-based education initiative for middle-school students.

Students will perform experiments using Digital Blue's QX3+ computer microscope and will post and analyze the digital images on a "virtual lab" Web site. Investigations will include regional water quality tracking, rock and mineral properties, plant growth and the physiology of flight in birds. About a dozen schools will participate in the US, Russia and other regions. Digital Blue said it will start the project next month and will contribute microscopes worth a total of $50,000 to the schools.

The company said the virtual lab will emulate an authentic scientific community by enabling students to propose projects, form and test hypotheses nd analyze and debate findings online. It will feature hosted chat rooms, message boards, textbook-related content and a proprietary image gallery. For example, the water tracking project will include a multiregional map updated with microscopic images of water contamination particles and data, as reported by students around the world.

The site is overseen by Digital Blue's project adviser, Boris Berenfeld, a biophysicist and authority on educational technologies. Berenfeld is director of the International Center of the Concord Consortium, in Concord, Mass., which creates technology-enhanced instructional materials and collaborative Internet-based educational initiatives.

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