NEWTON is operated by the Educational Programs of Argonne
National Laboratory, which is located about 40 km
(25 miles) southwest of downtown Chicago.
NEWTON was started
in November of 1991 to provide K-12 science, math and computer teachers
(and their students) a place to practice telecommunications, to retrieve
useful information in a wide variety of subjects, to contact research scientists
from all over the world and to open communications between classroom teachers.
NEWTON is associated with the Argonne Community of Teachers (ACT)
and operated by the staff at Argonne's Educational Programs.
NEWTON, formerly NEWTON BBS (Bulletin Board Service), began as an offspring of a 1990-1991 NSF initiative at Argonne for middle school science teachers to enhance their classroom instruction by surveying the numerous projects and programs at FermiLab as well as Argonne.
After two summers of this program, the participating teachers were interested in staying connected and to be able to share successes in their classroom. Argonne being a major hub for the fledgling Internet, dial up service and training was established for teachers, and NEWTON offered numerous, moderated chat areas, means to up load ideas and share them, and a program for teachers and their students to ask questions to scientists.
This service grew beyond the NSF participants to include K-12 math, science and computer teachers from all over the Chicago metro area, and beyond. Dial up Internet service was established at many local school districts. NEWTON evolved to include thousands of participating teachers and became the focal point of many teacher seminars and monthly gatherings such as the Argonne Community of Teachers (ACT) and summer programs such as TRAC (Teacher Research Associates) using NEWTON as the communicate focus over the many summers that these program was in existence.
In 1995, the NEWTON program became the Ask A Scientist program, with two high school teachers volunteering to run this ever increasing popular program.
The Ask A Scientist program consists of over 92 volunteer scientists from all over the World with expertise in many sub-disciplines of science, math and computer. Questions from students and teachers are reviewed and filtered by two volunteer teachers and sent to volunteer scientists best able to address the questions. Questions that are answered by these scientists are formatted and returned directly to the sender and posted for all to review on NEWTON's Web site.
In 2011, to mark our twentieth anniversary, we have deployed a new teachers resource site, called NEWTON Teachers, providing reference links, online projects, educational game links, and much more!!!
Update: June 2012