Jefferson Lab's Science Education Website Helps Students Prepare for Upcoming Standards of Learning Tests

Usage of Jefferson Lab's Science Education website is climbing as students prepare to take the spring 2004 Standards of Learning tests.

"It has been exciting to see the level of use our web site is getting," says Steve Gagnon, Science Education technician and the website's webmaster. "Most of the pages accessed are from the Virginia Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology Practice Tests we have on our website, and our 'Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 Math and Science Quiz.'"

The web site includes SOL tests going back to 2000: 3rd grade math and science questions; 5th grade math, science and technology questions; 8th grade math, science and technology questions; and high school algebra I & II, geometry, earth science and chemistry questions. "The SOL practice tests are a great resource for students, teachers, parents — or anyone interested in the information," Gagnon adds. The website is set up so a person can request 10, 15, or 20 random, multiple-choice questions from a single category.

According to Gagnon, a new feature added to the website this year allows teachers and students to bring up nonrandom sets of questions. "If a teacher wants the class to review a series of specific math subcategories, the teacher can have the students go to JLab's SOL index page and make an assigned series of selections from the "options" offered. Then all of the students will go through the same fixed set of questions. "We think this feature could be a useful review tool," Gagnon comments.

The interactive design of the site lets users select and submit their answer. They are told if their response is right or wrong. If correct, the answer page repeats the question/problem and the correct answer. If a question is answered incorrectly, the answer page provides the question with the correct answer.

"We expect use of the SOL pages to climb in the spring as the annual testing period starts, but we've been amazed by the use the website is already getting this year," Gagnon notes. The other hot spot on the JLab Science Education Web site is the "Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 Math and Science Quiz," which is also a fun way to review math and science information — even though contestants aren't playing for real money.

To check out the Jefferson Lab Education web page, visit http://education.jlab.org/ . To access the SOL practice tests or to play the $1,000,000 math and science quiz, click on the Games & Puzzles icon.