June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Minorities in Engineering
15.1236.1 - 15.1236.14
The Impact of Active Learning through Cooperation on Science Fair Projects on Elementary School Students Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to show that outside the classroom, active learning through science fair projects with assistance from RAMP-UP Fellows can positively impact fourth graders. A comparison of the students’ third grade End-of-Grade (EOG) math scores to their fourth grade EOG math scores, after they have worked with RAMP-UP Fellows on science fair projects, is presented to assess the impact. RAMP-UP assisted fourth graders in 2007 had a 2.96% and an 11.43% improvement in their development scale score and achievement level respectively as compared to 1.99% and 3.59% improvement by their peers. The 2008 and 2009 assisted science fair students did not perform as well as their peers on the development scale score and regressed on the achievement levels.
RAMP-UP, a GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12 Outreach Program at North Carolina State University, assists fourth grade students at a local, inner- city elementary school with their science fair projects. A RAMP-UP Graduate Fellow with assistance from RAMP-UP Undergraduate Fellows and Teachers works with 12-16 economically disadvantaged African-American, Latino and Caucasian students per year. The Fellows guide the students from conception to completion of the project that is then entered in their school’s science fair. All projects are experimental so the student is guided through the experimental research, design, execution and presentation by the RAMP-UP Fellow.
Students in grade four are required to participate in an annual science fair run by the PTA at a local, inner-city, elementary school. Many students do not have the means to successfully participate so RAMP-UP, a GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12 Outreach Program at North Carolina State University, has stepped in to provide the necessary assistance. A RAMP-UP Graduate Fellow with assistance from Undergraduate Fellows and affiliated teachers works with 12-16 economically disadvantaged African-American, Hispanic and Caucasian students. This assistance began for the 2006 Science Fair. A working model has evolved over the years allowing the Fellows to successfully guide 12, 16, and 12 students, in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Science Fairs respectively. The students are guided through the project from conception to completion which is then displayed in the cafeteria on the day of judging.
Dr. John Dewey, one of the founders of pragmatism in education, believed that learning was active and that math could be learned through everyday activities such as cooking.2 The program, building upon this concept, has created original activities that anyone could recreate in their home to help teach math. For example, one of the program’s most popular, original activities is the “Diaper Activity.” Through this activity, the students
Albers, L., & Clark, S., & Parry, E., & Smith, R. (2010, June), The Impact Of Active Learning Through Cooperation On Science Fair Projects On Elementary School Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16607
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