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Dragonfly Web site has one millionth hit

11/22/2004

The Dragonfly Web site, part of a nine-year old program making science inquiry accessible to students, parents and teachers, has registered the one millionth visitor on its Miami University server.

Project Dragonfly began with a magazine with parent and teacher guides using children’s research and professional researchers to promote children’s investigation. The magazine is no longer published. However, Dragonfly’s Web site, www.muohio.edu/dragonfly, is still used heavily by teachers for professional development workshops and communication links.

On Dragonfly’s site, one can also watch Mars spin, make a mini-water cycle and stack a virtual totem pole, as well as find easy-to read explanations about life around us.

Other evolutions of Dragonfly:

  • Dragonfly TV is in its fourth year on PBS, produced in St. Paul, Minn. Chris Myers, professor of interdisciplinary studies at Miami, is adviser to the show, which is watched by more than 25 million children and parents a year.
  • Earth Expeditions is a collaborative program with the Cincinnati Zoo that allowed 60 K-12 teachers to take part in the zoo’s conservation efforts in Namibia, Costa Rica or Trinidad last summer. Next year, 140 teachers can go to those countries plus Thailand or Belize. This fall, 60 other teachers are participating in zoo workshops.
  • DragonflyQuest is a badge program for children in Girls Clubs and Boys clubs. The program received a $300,000 grant from United Airlines.
  • iDiscovery and Dragonfly workshops (graduate credit) for teachers are two types of workshops, one partnering with Miami’s Discovery Center, offering in-person and Web-based learning communities, online discussions, a “lesson incubator” and shared data, funded by the state and others, www.iDiscovery.orgwww.dragonflyworkshops.org.
A deep desire to encourage children’s discovery is what drives all aspects of Dragonfly. “You have to allow kids to see themselves and their peers as investigators,” says Myers.

Other faculty and staff behind Dragonfly include Carolyn Haynes, Hays Cummins, Christopher Wolfe (Web site editor), Lynne Myers and Jamie Bercaw, all of Miami’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

The Web site is maintained with support from Miami’s Center for Human Development, Learning, and Teaching. Support for Dragonfly TV has come from the National Science Foundation and Best Buy.

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