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PERC 2012 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Promoting Student Agency and Communication in an Informal Science Program
Abstract: The Partnerships for Informal Science Education in the Community (PISEC) program at the University of Colorado Boulder brings together university and community institutions to create a space where K-12 students join with University educators to engage in inquiry-based scientific practices after school. These afterschool activities were originally developed to reinforce the traditional learning goals of the classroom, including mastering scientific content, skills and processes. Recently, the primary focus of the PISEC curriculum has been shifted towards the development of students' scientific identity, an explicit objective of informal learning environments. The new curriculum offers students more activity choices, affords space for scientific drawings and descriptions and provides incentive for students to design their own experiments. We have analyzed student science notebooks from both old and new curricula and find that with the redesigned curriculum, students exhibit increased agency and more instances of scientific communication while still demonstrating substantial content learning gains.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rosemary Wulf
University of Colorado Boulder
UCB 440
JILA A502
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: 303-492-0869
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kathleen Hinko (University of Colorado Boulder), Noah Finkelstein (University of Colorado Boulder)