Internet Science Explorations -- Session 1, Week 1 1997
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With the first meeting of the Internet Explorers Club, project SUCCEED is up and running. Fifteen students from throughout the Research Triangle Park area entered the doors of the Foundation's Durham office to begin an exciting exploration of science tools on the Internet.

The session began today, July 7, at 8:30 am. Joe South, the principle teacher of the IEC sessions, began the day with an introduction explaining the intentions of the program. This was followed by a short presentation from Dr. Robert M. Panoff, the Foundation's Executive Director. Dr. Panoff, known to the students as "Bob1," explained to the students the intentions of the Foundation.

Following another brief introduction by Joe pertaining to proper Internet usage, the students introduced themselves to each other using a simple scientific investigation. Rather than simply introducing themselves, students were asked to act like scientists and find clever questions to uncover the truth about their peer's identities.

Then intern Andy Hebrank introduced the students to email. He helped the students set up email accounts, and taught the students about email security and email etiquette.

The 'Human Internet' introduced students to the principles of Internet information transfer. Because the Internet is comprised of computers that transfer information through a network of different routes, the actual routing of information is very elaborate. Students wrote messages on pieces of paper and sent them from one group to another, with the intention that the pieces of paper be reassembled at their destination into the proper format that they were intended to maintain.

Then students were finally ready to begin what they thought was really fun--exploration of the Internet. The Shodor staff, having composed a list of recommended sites, sent the students loose on the Internet. NASA's BADweb site proved to be a smash success as students were able to investigate and actually build their own subsonic transport via the Internet. The NASA site also took into consideration the importance of ticket price and total cost to the airlines, adding an extra level of difficulty. Many were successful at completing the mission objectives. Other sites the students found interesting included physical representations of light and reflection/refraction, pH tests, and personality evaluations.

All in all, the Internet Explorer's had a tremendously successful first day. The next few days should be full of opportunities for the students to explore and continue to learn about science through Internet-based activities.