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Assessing the Learning of K-12 students in Science Camps

Project Full Title:

Assessing the Impact on Learning of K-12 students in the Summer Science Camps

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Project Description:

This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Education and the Natural and Applied Sciences . However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Chemistry. This is a PART-TIME position (15-20 hours a week) running from the Tuesday after Memorial Day through the END of July, with a break during the week of July 2 to keep in line with the science camp schedule. The purpose of this project is to gather quantitative, statistically significant data about the learning gains of K-12 students in the summer science camps to be used in future external grant applications. During the summer of 2017, a small project was carried out to align the Summer Science Camps with the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to assess the learning gains of students who participated in the camps. This initial project provided useful experience and information as to how the assessment process can be improved and expanded. We would like to continue this project with modifications that will make the results much more robust and useful for future external grant applications to support the ExploreHope Summer Science Camps. The project this summer will focus on assessing the learning gains of students using pre-test/post-test paired responses, so that we may run matched-pairs statistical tests and hopefully find statistically significant improvement. Collecting data this way will also allow us to analyze the Performance Index Scores of each student and draw conclusions about proficiency in relation to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In addition, the assessment questions used last summer will be reviewed and revised for clarity and to insure alignment with the camp content and with the NGSS.

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