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The SnT in a Box aims to explore Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to aid instruction of basic science and mathematics. It intends to bring applicable tools from high-end researches to basic science teaching. For example some simulation tools will be included in the SnT in a Box project in order to better explain some concepts in Physics while we also incorporate visualization of complex reactions in the fields of Chemistry.
The SnT in Box will not replace actual experiments to introduce concepts. But it will allow students to understand concepts beyond the laboratory restrictions. For example, changing parameters in chemical reactions may be expensive for rural schools in illustrating different cases. But with the SnT in Box, students can experiment creating different cases using FOSS tools in a computer. These will allow them to analyze and explain concepts through experimental cases. The SnT in a Box will help students visualize concepts using FOSS tools in a computer. The prevalence of cheap computer parts now will make this tool available to most schools.
In addition to this, the SnT in a Box will open new areas of applications of ICT in basic science education. ICT is commonly used in education to provide access to limited resources; like books, journals and other materials. This compilation of FOSS tools is a different way of enabling teachers in presenting science concepts in an interesting manner.
The SnT in a Box will also provide educators new skills in using computer programs already common in research institutes. The main challenge on this initiative, however is training teachers in using the FOSS tool included in the compilation. But once appreciated, this set of tools can be used not only in teaching but in actual research works of teachers. We hope that through this project and through the availability of ICT tools, the culture of scientific research can be enhanced among high school and elementary teachers.