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Amy Sokoll

uBEATS Online Health Science Curriculum

Creating E-Modules that Make STEM Click for Students

November 2018

As a science teacher at Valley View Middle School in Elkhorn, Amy Sokoll (far right) knows that her students are in the perfect position to discover a lifelong love for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects. But they also have many other courses and interest areas competing for their attention. So, how can teachers like Sokoll more easily bring STEM into the classroom, putting kids on a path to strong career opportunities?

She’s one of many Nebraska teachers taking advantage of—and contributing to—the uBeats Online Health Science Curriculum, online science e-modules covering topics that aren’t covered in regular science classes. uBeats is a product of a partnership between UNMC and UNO; a spinoff of the highly successful UNMC High School Alliance.

UNMC Inset

uBeats combines all the benefits of today’s connectivity to make science come alive for middle and high school students. Students and other experts at UNO are invited to create the modules based on their particular area of focus—whether that module is a game, a quiz, or something entirely new. This creative freedom, guided by UNMC faculty members, results in lessons that help students experience STEM in completely new ways.

A graduate of UNO herself, Sokoll says this approach to learning can help a new student catch up on material, or for a student with a unique learning style to hear about the topic from a new voice. “Having a different way to explain it, having a different modality to learn it, and hearing from a different voice can be pretty helpful for kids.” Teamed with her Valley View colleague Crista Goehring, and Omaha Marian science teacher Sharon Genoways, Sokoll helped design an e-module based on Mendelian Genetics for uBeats.

Best of all, uBeats is available completely free to Nebraska teachers and students. The e-modules are designed to give classroom teachers the control to assign curriculum as they see fit. The technology is available 24/7—all a classroom needs is an internet connection.

uBeats combines all the benefits of today’s connectivity to make science come alive for middle and high school students.

Peggy Moore, the UNMC director of E-Learning, sees a compelling opportunity in investing in projects like this. “uBeats is an excellent example of maximizing resources across the colleges to increase our impact and build something truly valuable, and we hope it will be the new norm.”


Editors Note: Amy Sokol is no longer teaching at Valley View Elementary School and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in the College of Education and Human Sciences at UNL.

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