Science Chicago Website
Designed by award-winning Domani Studios, the website was a critical communication and engagement component of the initiative, which featured many ways for the public to connect to thousands of science programs and the organizations who offered them.
In addition to the website, many digital and social media tools were employed to extend the project’s reach beyond real-world programs and beyond Chicago. Online efforts averaged 25,000 unique visitors per month to sciencechicago.com, sciencechicagoblog.com, Virtual Science Chicago on Whyville.net, and our pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
The website leveraged Web 2.0 technology including Flash animation, RSS fees, audio downloads, embedded video of events, and interviews with program participants to engage and connect visitors to real-life events. Audio and video downloads were the central feature of the Media Center where visitors could enjoy entertaining and educational media from past programs, interviews with scientists and program participants – including “Kids Talk Science” – as well as some of the amazing science experiments that happened throughout the year. Media programs were also available on YouTube.com and Chicago Public Radio’s Chicago Amplified, a web-based audio archive.
Connecting to Science
Another important goal of the website was to enhance science learning and connection both inside and outside of the classroom. Students were able to do this through links to cool websites and Virtual Science Chicago on Whyville.net. Educators choose from multiple resources in the Teacher’s Lounge, including useful websites, professional development opportunities, and field trip curriculum. Plus, educators and students alike used the Find-A-Scientist database which was developed to help educators connect with scientists who could provide high-quality, interactive experiences for their students.
Through a partnership with Whyville.net, an educational and social networking site for 8-12 year olds, kids around the globe visited Virtual Science Chicago. More than 55,000 Whyvillians engaged in Science Chicago activities and games, met and interacted with Dr. Rabiah Mayas’ avatar and read articles from the Science Chicago blog which were published in the weekly online Whyville Times.