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Science Courses Add Online Simulations, Lab Experiments

Online courses in biology and chemistry from Plato Learning, designed both for credit recovery and for students new to the subjects, are receiving an infusion of new content to reflect updates in science instruction, most notably real-world applicability of traditional learning and school STEM initiatives.

The new content includes inquiry activities, lab experiments, and online simulations, all aimed at demonstrating how the concepts, scenarios, and outcomes taught in the syllabus are applied and realized in the natural world. Historically, such resources, which require practical demonstrations of scientific concepts, while easily performed in a laboratory-style classroom, have been quite limited in an online environment. The new course content, though, allows for such limitations and offers experiments conducive to limited resources and workspace. One example is an exercise that has students observe grapes in an air-tight plastic bag to analyze and understand the fermentation process that converts sugar to alcohol.

The courses also aim to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives that allow schools and districts to apply for STEM-related state and federal grants.

The updated biology content is available now, while the chemistry content will be offered beginning in December. Current users of the Plato Learning biology and chemistry courses will have immediate access to the new content at no additional cost. The company also offers rigorous, standards-based online courses for middle and high school students in English, mathematics, social studies, health, art history, and AP subjects including Biology and Calculus. A complete list of course offerings can be found here.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.