28 April 2008

Detour Down Memory Lane

Back in the early days of accessing the internet from home (when AOL seemed like a great option), I belonged to a group of science teachers organized through LabNet. I wish I had a link to share, but in the intervening years (this was almost 15 years ago), the traces of our work seems to have disappeared. It was hosted by TERC, which is still an active entity. The databases, idea sharing, bulletin boards, and other vestiges are all gone.

This blurry photo is one of the last reminders of LabNet that I have:

I know it doesn't look like much. It represents The Pringles Challenge. The idea here is that my students were paired with those at another school across the country to exchange a single Pringles potato chip. The goal was to have it arrive at its destination in one piece while using the lightest smallest packaging possible. The whole thing was a blast. I can't say that my kids did a particularly stellar job with their ideas, but the internet had opened up a whole new world of possibility for me---and for my junior high charges in the wilds of New Mexico. (It's hard to realize that most of these kids will be turning 30 in the next year or so.)

LabNet may have become extinct, but it appears that The Pringles Challenge is alive and well. I can't wait to play again.

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