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The Amgen Foundation and Harvard University will develop LabXchange, a free online science education platform that will provide digital instruction and virtual lab experiences.
On May 30, 2018, the Amgen Foundation and Harvard University announced plans to developthe LabXchange platform, a free online science education platform that will offer digital instruction in biology and virtual lab experiences to high school and college students, enabling them to gain exposure to the scientific process.According to Amgen, the platform will also include online networking focused on collaboration and mentoring.
The Amgen Foundation awarded $6.5 million in grant funding to Harvard to develop, launch, and grow the LabXchange platform for teachers and students globally. Amgen states that the foundation will be involved throughout the development of LabXchange and that its scientists will play key advisory roles to enhance the impact of the platform. LabXchange will be built on the edX platform, which is presently used by more than 35 million learners globally, according to Amgen. Platform prototypes will be built and tested with potential users starting in summer 2018. The platform is expected to launch globally in 2019.
“There are many millions of students who, as a result of economic or geographic limitations, simply do not have access to one of the most central aspects of being a scientist, which is working in a laboratory,” said Professor Robert Lue, principal investigator of LabXchange and professor of the Practice of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, in a company press release. “LabXchange addresses this issue with a platform that integrates dynamic experimental simulations with background curriculum and social networking-all created to more effectively expose students of varying backgrounds to the authentic and engaging experience of scientific discovery.”