Science is Elementary
Science education in the US is sorely lacking, especially at the elementary school level. Only 37% of 4th graders scored at or above proficient nationwide in science and the achievement gap between Whites and underrepresented minorities is 45-50 points; the gap between high- and low- income students is 30 points.
These achievement gaps begin in kindergarten and persist at least until 8th grade, proving how critical early intervention is for these students (http://bit.ly/scigapsbeginearly). Teachers spend less time on science than they have in the past, they are ill prepared to teach science, and don’t have enough resources to do so (WestEd 2013).
Science is Elementary is unique. We provide a turnkey solution to help schools and districts build capacity for high quality science education through implementation focused professional development for teachers coupled with engaging, hands-on, thought provoking, science experiments for students.
Our vision is that All children realize science is awesome and use its principles to better their lives and our mission is to effect systemic change in elementary school science education by teaching students, training teachers, and engaging the scientific community.
We have two programs: a direct service in-class program for students and a professional development program for teachers. Our In-class program offers monthly 90-minute lessons in elementary classrooms (TK-5th) during the school day, teaching scientific reasoning through hands-on experiments in physical science and engineering. Lessons are taught by scientists and engineers with deep classroom experience. Students show gains of 85% in content acquisition and and increase of 50%-100% in positive attitudes to science. Our professional development program focuses on how to teach rigorous science and engineering, and scientific reasoning, integrated with English literacy. Teachers increase their science teaching by 50% and 90% report increased confidence.
To date, we’ve impacted over 10,000 students and their teachers and have trained 1,000 scientists and engineers to serve as mentors.
Our goal is to double our program in the next two years, both locally and nationally.