Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
Over the past two years, more than 12,600 students at 85 different schools across Washington have participated in the program. We specifically visit high-needs, under-resourced schools. Our data show that the schools visited by the Science Adventure Lab had a significantly higher percentage of students on free and reduced lunch programs compared to the state average (64% for schools we visited, state average 43%), indicating we are successfully reaching the high-needs communities.
Over the past two years, feedback from students and teachers has been uniformly and overwhelmingly positive. Student feedback includes "If I was lucky enough to experience the amount of fun I had yesterday I’d burst of happiness" and teacher comments such as "Your project is a gift to schools like mine. The funding that you receive means that I am able to offer my kids something we would never have the financial resources to do."
Recently we have implemented a real-time evaluation system that uses student response remotes or clickers, that measure student gains. Clickers were incorporated to improve engagement of, and collect data from, all students in a class. The data are non-identifiable, so students are more comfortable providing their responses anonymously. The questions measure three important outcomes: content knowledge, student interest in science and attitude towards science. We are scaling up the evaluation component of our program so that we can collect sufficient amounts of data to allow analysis.
Another marker for success is demand. We receive many more requests for visits than we can accommodate (up to 8x in some geographic areas of the state).
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
If we are awarded funding to add the family engagement component, we will formalize and standardize the family-based activities and add rigorous evaluation to measure the effectiveness of this approach. Over the next three years we will develop an ongoing, sustainable program of family-based activities including producing a Family Science Night kit and offering regular quarterly Family Science Days at Seattle Children’s Research Institute that are open to any interested family. The Family Science Night kit that is developed will be made available to any interested school across the United States. The kit will contain resources and materials needed to host a successful family science night.