The use of Jefferson Lab's Science Education website is climbing as Virginia students prepare to take the spring 2006 Standards of Learning tests.
"The most frequently accessed pages on our website include the Virginia Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology Practice Tests and our 'Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 Math and Science Quiz,'" says Steve Gagnon, Jefferson Lab Science Education technician and webmaster.
The website includes the recently released 2005 SOL tests, and has an archive of the tests going back to 2000. Test categories include: 3rd grade math and science questions; 5th grade math, science and technology questions; 8th grade math, science and technology questions; 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, 20, or 40 random, multiple-choice questions from a single category. Or if desired, the site allows teachers and students to bring up nonrandom sets of questions. If a teacher wants the class to review a series of specific 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 is very useful," 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 this review tool to climb as the annual testing period starts. It is common for the website to have more than 700,000 pages hit in a 24-hour period this time of year," Gagnon notes. The other hot spot on the JLab Science Education website 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 for these and other games and activities, 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.