OASIS is designed to be a unique and holistic education initiative based on its vision, governing principles, and commitment:
• All OASIS programs are provided free of cost, thereby reducing financial conflicts and barriers to students, families, teachers, and schools.
• OASIS programs are developed and conducted by college students who serve as role models and mentors to middle school students rather than as didactic instructors.
• The curriculum designed for OASIS programs are made to be innovative, authentic, interactive (“hands-on” and “minds-on”), accessible, modularized, and accountable to the benchmarks established by the AAAS (Advancing Science. Serving Society).
• OASIS programs do not compete with or conflict with the interests of schools and educators, but instead build upon classroom education.
Two programs are planned for the 2007-2008 academic year: the Bug Crazy arthropod exhibit and its associated in-class outreach teaching program. The purpose of Bug Crazy is to establish a showcase and collection of the major classes of arthropods on a university campus. The Bug Crazy exhibit functions by housing a very interesting and attractive source of knowledge using arthropods to illustrate important biological concepts such as metamorphosis, adaptation, the correlation between function and physiology, social behavior, and taxonomy. The in-class outreach program involves college volunteers creating and then conducting monthly (or biweekly) lesson plans in middle school classrooms utilizing live models from the Bug Crazy exhibit. OASIS was not designed to replace the traditional science education taught in school classes. Rather, OASIS plans to combine the benefits of both the learning environment of the classroom and the use of student volunteers who middle school students can identify with through our diverse interests and school experiences.