1. Julia Skolnik
  2. Assistant Director of Professional Development
  3. Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy
  4. https://leap.fi.edu
  5. The Franklin Institute
  1. Tara Cox
  2. Manager of Professional Development
  3. Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy
  4. https://leap.fi.edu
  5. The Franklin Institute
  1. Casi Herrera
  2. Network Manager
  3. Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy
  4. https://leap.fi.edu
  5. National Girls Collaborative Project
  1. Scott Pattison
  2. http://informalscience.org/community/member-directory/scott-pattison
  3. Director of Research
  4. Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy
  5. https://leap.fi.edu
  6. Institute for Learning Innovation
  1. Karen Peterson
  2. CEO and Founder
  3. Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy
  4. https://leap.fi.edu
  5. National Girls Collaborative Project
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Tara Cox

    Tara Cox

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 05:51 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video about Leap into Science! This national initiative promotes collaboration between community partners who are committed to science and literacy. In what ways do you collaborate with libraries, museums and community-based organizations to engage audiences in science and literacy learning?

  • Icon for: Chih-Che Tai

    Chih-Che Tai

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2018 | 09:45 p.m.

    An excellent video! Clear, concise and interesting!

  • Icon for: Julia Skolnik

    Julia Skolnik

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 07:38 a.m.

    Thank you Chih-Che! We really appreciate your feedback!

  • Icon for: Andee Rubin

    Andee Rubin

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 11:04 a.m.

    I really enjoyed all the children and families pictured in your video and it made we want to know more about the activities they're involved in - especially that fabulous girl doing a cartwheel at the end, with her braids flying behind her!  (Full disclosure: I developed a video analysis system years ago in which students could trace their motion while they did things like cartwheels...)

    I was curious how you think about the relationship between literacy and science.  I could imagine your video being about engaging kids in fun science activities without the added literacy aspect, so I wondered what role books and narrative play in your approach.

  • Icon for: Julia Skolnik

    Julia Skolnik

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 11:11 a.m.

    Hi Andee - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! In Leap into Science activities, we aim to pair children's books and hands-on activities that support a common science theme - like balance, or wind and air - to encourage scientific thinking, cultivate rich dialogue, and make connections. We see both books and science activities as ways to foster these kinds of critical thinking skills, and fun while learning for children and caregivers in community settings like libraries, museums, and community centers. We have another video which highlights our "Core Four" strategies for engaging audiences in science and literacy - check that one out for deeper descriptions of this approach!  http://leap.fi.edu/resources

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsey Lipsitz
    Karen Peterson
  • Icon for: Anna Hurst

    Anna Hurst

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 08:59 p.m.

    Hello, Julia, Tara, and Scott! It's good to see you here. As you know, the My Sky Tonight team is very interested in your work! Through our program, we have developed a set of engaging, age-appropriate, science-rich astronomy activities for 3- to 5-year-old children. One of our most popular activities, Bear's Shadow, incorporates a storybook, and we have recently been exploring the role that books can play in supporting children's engagement in science skills, thanks to some supplemental funding from the NSF.

     

    I am interested to learn more about how you measure the impact of your program. What indicators do you look for related to increased interested and skills? What specific science skills are you aiming to support?

     

    I hope you'll also have a chance to check out our video about My Sky Tonight! Looking forward to future discussions about how we might connect our respective work!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsey Lipsitz
    Karen Peterson
  • Icon for: Julia Skolnik

    Julia Skolnik

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 08:20 a.m.

    Hi Anna - thank you so much for your comments!  We have loved learning more about My Sky Tonight through talking with you in the last few months, and thinking about ways our work can support one another. 

    We have measured impact of our program in a few different ways.  Since our primary audience in the last few projects has been educators in libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs, we have measured changes in their attitudes, interest, confidence, and self-efficacy in facilitating science and literacy programs for children and families (results have shown significant increases in these areas). For children and caregivers, we have measured impacts on attitudes, skills, and awareness through observations of family programs and interviews/surveys with caregivers. Results have shown that children have more positive attitudes toward science; demonstrate curiosity, interest, focus, understanding, enjoyment, creativity, and inspiration; exhibit skills in exploring, experimenting, observing, cooperating, questioning, predicting, explaining, describing and collaborating. Caregivers report having fun while learning, being inspired to take new risks with science and their children, increased awareness of science activities to try at home, increased interest in doing science activities and reading books with science themes with their children, and increasing their understanding of how children learn science.  We have also measured impacts on participating institutions, and looking at how the program has achieved scale using Cynthia Coburn's framework for scale in education.  A big thanks to Jeanine Ancelet and Jessica Luke for all of their work in leading the evaluation and research efforts that captured these findings.

    In our current NSF-funded broad implementation initiative, we are measuring fidelity of the program through the layers of the network (train-the-trainer, training of educators, and family programs), to achieve a variety of outcomes. For state leaders and informal educators, we are looking to build knowledge, confidence, skills, and collaboration in leading trainings and programs in science and literacy, respectively. For children and families we are aiming for them to have fun learning together, think scientifically, and build positive attitudes toward science and literacy learning. We have chosen to focus more on the skills and attitudes toward science as opposed to content acquisition, to align with the strengths of informal, community-based, family-oriented settings. Our new video about the Core Four strategies is a central way we will be looking for consistency in achieving these goals.

    Thanks again Anna!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Anna Hurst
    Kelsey Lipsitz
  • May 15, 2018 | 05:39 p.m.

    Very nice video! Are families allowed to take books home or are all the activities offered in the museums, libraries, and after school programs?

  • Icon for: Tara Cox

    Tara Cox

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 05:55 p.m.

    Hi Doris!

    Many of our partners provide families with books to take home after they participate in the hands-on workshop. Usually these books correspond to the science theme just explored so that learning can be extended at home.

    Thanks for your question!

  • Icon for: Kelsey Lipsitz

    Kelsey Lipsitz

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 12:11 a.m.

    What a wonderful project and video! It looks like you've been really successful in bringing together young children, their families, and informal communities -- what were some of the challenges you came across as you were building these partnerships and how did you overcome them?

  • Icon for: Tara Cox

    Tara Cox

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 03:04 p.m.

    Great question! In 2011, we expanded to 10 urban centers and each expansion site includes a combination of partners from informal learning institutions, such as museums, libraries and out-of-school time programs. One challenge that we’ve encountered as sites build and maintain partnerships is staff turnover. In order to mitigate the effects of this, we find that it is essential to seek buy-in on an institutional level. This way, if the individual who is spearheading Leap into Science leaves, the institution is more likely to find a replacement because of their commitment to implementing the program.

    Another challenge that has emerged for some sites is difficultly sustaining collaboration with partners over many years. While individual institutions are actively using Leap into Science, they might not be collaborating on programs as much as they had initially. One way that we have seen partners overcome this is by co-hosting Leap into Science programs in a neutral space outside of each institution, such as at a community science fair. This way, both partners have an equal investment in the event.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsey Lipsitz
  • Icon for: Erica Halverson

    Erica Halverson

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 09:03 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing the story about your project! I liked how you described the initial partnership, and how you think about success in terms of sharing the program with new partners. Its exciting work!

    I had a couple of questions about the project:

    1) I noticed that the Philadelphia schools were not mentioned in the original partnership. Did you think about getting school-based educators involved? How would the initiatlve change, in your view, if the program was located in schools as well?

    2) Museum and library programs reach a large audience, but often with a limited window of opportunity to interact with individual learners. How do you think about this issue of a transient audience - especially given your mission of connecting literacy and science learning for underserved communities?

    Good luck on the next stages of your work!

    - Erica 

  • Icon for: Tara Cox

    Tara Cox

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 04:12 p.m.

    Hi Erica, 

    Thank you for your kind words.  Leap into Science is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) division of NSF so our primary audience is institutions that promote informal learning. In 2011, we expanded to 10 pilot sites across the country, each with unique partnerships. One of these partnerships was between a department of education and state-wide afterschool network, so we have been able to study how Leap into Science is integrated into a moral formal system. Additionally, many of our educators are classroom teachers that also serve as afterschool leaders. 

    To address your second question, many of our partners across the country have found that hosting monthly Leap into Science events works well for reaching families on an ongoing basis. Often partners will post the calendar of events months in advance so that families can plan around their busy schedules. 

     

  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2018 | 03:52 p.m.

    Hi Julia, Tara, and Team,

    Thanks for a great video - it is exciting to see this program scaling across the nation, and involving different kinds of community organizations. I especially appreciate the inclusion of caregivers and families in your work. I wonder are there other family-based research programs that you are watching to help inform your practice in this direction?

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 06:14 p.m.

    Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for your interest in our project. As a member the research team, I would say that one of the strengths of the Leap into Science scale-up project is the past experience that each of the partners (The Franklin, National Girls Collaborative Project, Institute for Learning Innovation, EDC) brings related to family learning. At the Institute for Learning Innovation, we have been leading a project called Head Start on Engineering (http://csl.nsta.org/2017/10/head-start-engineering/) that focuses on parents and family learning. It’s been great to find connections and share lessons learned across these projects. We’ve also connected with other efforts, such as My Sky Tonight (http://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentations/1296) and Storytelling Math (https://www.terc.edu/display/Projects/Storytelling+Math). Personally, I’ve been inspired by other family engagement models outside the STEM education field, such as Head Start (https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/family-engagement) and Metropolitan Family Services (https://www.metfamily.org/readysetgo/).

    I know The Franklin has also learned a lot about how to engage families from their partnerships with The Free Library of Philadelphia and other museum, library, and nonprofit organizations about different models for family engagement. For example, Elise Brimhall at KUED in Salt Lake City used Leap into Science through parent outreach workshops to educate them on how to engage with books and science activities at home with their children. Maggie Kempel at Rockford School District used Leap into Science as a way for students in an afterschool program to lead a STEM family night for their parents and siblings.

    We welcome other ideas about similar family engagement projects we should connect with!

    Thanks,

    Scott

  • May 18, 2018 | 12:20 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your program with us.  I am excited about the family partnerships.  As one of the chief asks from our young people family involvement is a big barrier to STEM participation.  Have you done any work around math competency by age 8?  Our partners are very interested in early Math. 

  • Icon for: Tara Cox

    Tara Cox

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 03:00 p.m.

    Hi Christine, 

    Thank you for your comments and questions! We have had a lot of success engaging families in science and literacy learning in part because our program is designed to be implemented in accessible, community settings like libraries, parks and community centers. In essence, we are meeting families where they are and bringing the science to them! Additionally, all of our workshops feature approachable science concepts like wind & air, structures, balance, light & shadows and sound. Families have an easier time connecting to concepts that can be experienced in everyday life. We also find that children's books are a great entry point into science exploration. 

    Regarding math competency, we have a few themes in which math concepts can be used while children explore the science, like in our balance, measurement, and structures workshops. While math is not explicitly focused on, children are naturally using it when balancing a teeter-totter, measuring objects, or counting blocks, for example. 

     

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.