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Science and Technology for Elementary and Middle School

www.carolina.com

                                                                                       

Evidence of Effectiveness:

 

The Science and Technology program is a complete science program for pupils in grades 1-8.  The program is filled with innovative hand-on activities designed to motivate pupils; the program is the result of a joint effort by some of the leaders in the fields of education and science. 

 

The National Science Resources Center (NSRC), operated by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences to improve the teaching of science in the nation’s schools, began developing the Science and Technology program in 1988; the curriculum was completed in 1997. 

 

The NSRC evaluated each Science and Technology unit’s effectiveness with children, by nationally field-testing it in diverse urban, rural, and suburban public schools.  The Program Evaluation and Research Group of Lesley College, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, evaluated the assessments in each unit.  Each unit also reflects the incorporation of teacher and student field-test feedback and of comments on accuracy and soundness from nationally known scientists and science educators who serve on the Science and Technology Advisory Panel.  This research and development process was completed to ensure all Science and Technology units are scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate for pupils. 

 

Traverse City Public Schools, Traverse City Michigan

 

Review of results from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) was used to determine the effectiveness of the Science and Technology program on student academic achievement.  In analyzing the results, a comparison was made between the results of school districts that adopted a significant number of Science and Technology units and the state average.  (NOTE:  The Science and Technology program was implemented in 1996; therefore, results from 1996 should be considered baseline.)   Test results are categorized by socio-economic status of school districts.

 

Table 1 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of a high socio-economic level (low free and reduced lunch frequency) as compared to statewide results:

 

Table 1

State/District

1998

1997

1996

Michigan State Average

40.4

36.8

26.9

Troy Public Schools

74.1

60.9

51.3

Utica Community Schools

56.0

46.3

36.4

 

 

Table 2 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of diverse socio-economic backgrounds (higher free and reduced lunch frequency):

 

 

 

 Table 2

State/District

1998

1997

1996

Michigan State Average

40.4

36.8

26.9

Lanse Cruse Schools

52.8

54.6

46.2

Shelby Public Schools

48.1

33.0

31.2

South Lake Public Schools

54.0

20.0

22.0

Traverse City Public Schools

53.9

47.9

29.0

 

 Table 3 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of low to very low socio-economic backgrounds (very high free and reduced lunch frequency):

 

Table 3

State/District

1998

1997

1996

Michigan State Average

40.4

36.8

26.9

Crawford-AuSable

36.1

11.6

17.4

Muskegon Public Schools

22.0

15.8

12.0

Saginaw Public Schools

20.4

13.3

9.2

 

Summary of Results

 

While there are many statistical variations that could be applied to these results, one dramatic trend emerges. Out of these very different school districts, eight out of nine showed improvement greater than the state average increase of 3.6%, from 1997 to 1998.  In some cases the improvement is dramatic (South Lake - +32%; Crawford AuSable - +24.5%).  The smallest improvement was at the Traverse City Schools - +6%; however, this district was already 15% higher than the state average before implementation of the program. 

 

Program Description:

 

The Science and Technology program is a complete science program for pupils in grades 1-8.  The program can serve as an entire science curriculum or individual units can be selected to incorporate into the existing curriculum.  The modular design makes it easy for a school or school system to implement the program gradually over time. 

 

Science and Technology for Children (STC) serves pupils in grades 1-6.  With STC units, students participate in a variety of exciting activities involving observation, measurement, identification of properties, and controlled experiments involving life, earth, and physical science concepts. This program is filled with innovative hands-on activities designed to motivate young students.  As every STC unit was developed, careful attention was given to the diverse learning styles and the developmental readiness of children.  This applied both to the concepts in each unit and the way in which these concepts were presented.  In general, the units are most effective at the suggested grade level and up or down a grade.  With teacher modifications, the range can be widened. 

Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Schools (STC/MS) is an 8-module, inquiry-centered, middle school science curriculum developed by the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). Each STC/MS module provides opportunities for students to experience scientific phenomena firsthand. The STC/MS program builds on the skills and knowledge developed in the STC curriculum, with content balanced among the life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and technology.

 

The STC/MS modules include:

·         Catastrophic Events

·         Energy, Machines, and Motion

·         Human Body Systems

·         Properties of Matter

·         Organisms

·         Earth in Space

·         Light

·         Electrical Energy and Circuit Design

The modules can be sequenced for 2 one-year courses, each year consisting of a module from each of the 4 science/technology strands, or as 4 one-semester courses for earth science, life science, physical science, and technology. The STC/MS program materials include assessment components, suggestions for the use of educational technology, and reading selections to broaden student learning.

Each STC/MS module is based on a 4-stage learning cycle that is grounded in educational research and practice.

 

Correlation to Nevada State Standards

A comprehensive, research-based curriculum, the Science and Technology program is aligned with the National Science Education Standards (NSES) of the National Research Council (NRC).

A correlation of the program to Nevada State Standards is being completed. 

 

Teacher Support:

 

The key to the successful use of the Science and Technology program is the comprehensive Teacher’s Guide. Each Guide provides in-depth information on how to prepare for and lead every activity in the program, as well as assess student progress.  Notes and classroom management tips help the teacher to efficiently manage all materials.  Complete preparation steps make planning and implementing each lesson easy and efficient.  There are goals for each unit, objectives for individual lessons, topics for class discussion, student questions and answers, and an extensive bibliography. 


 

 

 

 

 

Equipment Requirements:

 

Everything needed to teach a Science and Technology module—teacher's guide, student books, and the equipment and materials to conduct each lesson's inquiries—is available in each purchased kit. 

Costs:

Prices of Science and Technology kits will vary depending on the module.

·        For the Science and Technology for Children program, each kit provides enough materials for eight weeks of instruction for a group of 30 pupils. 

·        For the middle school program, kits are offered in one-class sets (for one class or 32 students) or in 5-class sets (for 5 classes of 32 students each).  One Teacher’s Guide is included in each kit; additional Teacher’s Guides may be purchased separately. 

 

For Information Contact:

 

Crystal McKenrick, Adoptions Coordinator

Carolina Biological Supply Company

Science and Technology Program

2700 York Road

Burlington, NC 27215

Phone:  (800) 227-1150 x 5302

            (800) 334-5551

 

Current Location in Nevada:

 

Clark County School District

Cashman Middle School

4622 W. Desert Inn Rd.

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Contact:  Sheri Hales-Davies

Phone:  (702) 799-5880