The Internet System for Networked Sensor Experimentation (iSENSE) is designed to let users engage in collaborative scientific inquiry. The iSENSE site offers a shared repository of user-contributed data-collection activities, such as engineering projects, environmental studies, classroom science experiments, and surveys, together with the data produced by those activities. The system enables users to contribute their own activities, upload data, and configure and save dynamic data visualizations.
In middle school and high school instruction, iSENSE helps make science more accessible, collaborative, visual, and fun. Teachers can use iSENSE to identify, refine, and share best practices. Students can use iSENSE to examine data contributed by their peers, participate in collaborative data-collection activities, and investigate science questions that they find personally meaningful.
The iSENSE system is a free, public resource. After registering a user account, anyone can contribute experiments or data. Data can be manually keyed into the web interface, or data files can be uploaded. If you capture data using Vernier classroom probes, the data can be uploaded and shared in iSENSE. The iSENSE team has also created a data-logging device, called the Portable iSENSE Network Point, or PINPoint, which features a range of on-board sensors, a GPS receiver, and connectors for external sensors. The PINPoint is designed specifically to take full advantage of the iSENSE web system’s powerful mapping and graphing visualizations.
The iSENSE project is a collaborative initiative of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) and Machine Science Inc. The project was initially supported by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Advanced Learning Technologies program. In September 2011, the project team received continued funding from NSF in a four-year award from the agency’s Cyberlearning program. Google has also provided financial support for the development of the iSENSE technology for mobile computing platforms.