Mobile devices equipped with a QR (quick response) code scanning app, which gives consumers instant access to information on the Web, now can give the same access to 110 years of information about the most prestigious honors in science, the Nobel Prizes. Information about the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry comes from a new QR-coded poster described in ACS’ Journal of Chemical Education.
Vasco D. B. Bonifácio points out that mobile technology is transforming the way students learn in the classroom. From 25 to 50 percent of high school students own smartphones equipped with a camera for reading barcodes, and apps for doing so are freely available for download online. Bonifácio decided to leverage that technology to introduce students — quickly and effortlessly — to the 160 Nobel laureates in chemistry from 1901 to 2011.
The article describes design of a poster of the Nobel laureates, featuring not thumbnail portraits and short summaries, but rows of QR codes. These two-dimensional barcodes, scanned by camera-equipped smartphones and tablets, give mobile-device users instant access to websites. Each laureate’s code on Bonifácio’s Nobel poster is arranged chronologically in a table resembling the periodic table of the elements and directs users to the chemist’s profile page or video interview on the official Nobel Prize website.
“Because the mobile-learning environment clearly benefits the learning process by introducing science and other subjects with a fun and exciting platform, these tools are attractive resources,” Bonifácio states.