Oct. 24, 1996
Vol. 16, No. 4

current issue
archive / search

    The start-up connection: Du Sable High School

    Latest Internet project builds on earlier efforts The Chicago Public Schools/University of Chicago Internet Project isn't the University's first effort at helping local schools plug into the latest computer technology.

    In 1994, Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, an astrophysicist at the University, and Bennett Brown, a physics teacher at Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable High School in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, formed a partnership to use supplemental grant money from NASA to improve secondary education in science (Chronicle, March 9, 1995).

    Knowing that important teaching resources, such as images from the Hubble Space Telescope, were available on the Internet, they wanted to give the school an on-ramp to the information superhighway. The two approached York with the idea of giving Du Sable a node on the University's network, but York suggested applying for enough grant money from NASA to get Du Sable its own direct connection. The $20,000 NASA provided was enough to bring a high-speed Internet line to the school, and the trio parlayed that into a $200,000 grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, which provided funds for paid staff, teacher training, additional computers and an internal network.

    The University's involvement didn't end there. Through a student-run group organized by astrophysics graduate students Luisa Rebull and Lucia Munoz-Franco, called Science Partners for Teachers (Chronicle, Sept. 26, 1996), graduate students and advanced undergraduates in science at Chicago pair up with teachers at Du Sable to work on integrating resources from the World Wide Web into the classroom curriculum.

    Science Partners, now in its second year, is expanding to meet the needs of the burgeoning on-line public school community. For more information, see http://astro.uchicago.edu/outreach/partners/, e-mail partners@astro.uchicago.edu, or contact Rebull at 702-9348.

    -- D.S.