What is it?
In-Touch Science is a hands-on program designed to help children understand the science all about
them. Each science theme is introduced through an activity in one subject area and is reinforced through a second experience based in a different field
of science. By linking concepts common to the paired fields, the In-Touch Science program teaches children to make connections between what they've
learned in one context and what they observe in another arena. It emphasizes working in small groups, manipulating materials, and talking and working
together in informal settings.
What are the topics?
In-Touch Science has four units.
- In-Touch Science: Chemistry and Environment
- In-Touch Science: Fibers and Animals
- In-Touch Science: Foods and Fabrics
- In-Touch Science: Plants and Engineering
Foods and Fabrics
was developed with funds from Cornell
Cooperative Extension, the New York
State 4-H Foundation, the Statewide
Research/Extension Initiative, and
the Cornell College of Human Ecology. The
other three units were published
through a grant provided by the National
Who is the audience?
Science was developed
in grades 3-5 (ages 8 through 11).
It places special emphasis on welcoming
and reaching three underserved
audiences: Native American children,
children with special needs and
girls. Pilot projects and trainings
focus, in some cases, on specific
populations and settings, but the
intention is to create an inclusive
program rather than a separate
program for each audience.
Who works with the children?
Adults serve as community science facilitators who use guided discovery techniques to explore the
activities with the children. The majority of these facilitators will have some experience working with children but may not have a science background.
Who is using In-Touch Science?
Any site with a willing, energetic leader and curious children can adopt In-Touch Science. The materials
are intended for informal, relaxed settings and are being used in 4-H clubs, school-age child care programs, community centers, Girls Inc. affiliates, museums,
science clubs, afterschool enrichment courses, scout programs, and homeschooling. In-Touch Science has also been used successfully in elementary school classrooms.
Who sponsors this program?
In-Touch Science is supported with funds from the National Science Foundation, Cornell University and
the New York State 4-H Foundation.
are the partners and collaborators?
Science relies heavily
on the cooperative efforts
of these national organizations:
American Indian Science
and Engineering Society,
Girls Inc., National
School-Age Child Alliance,
National 4-H/Youth Development,
Appalachian Rural Systemic
of Special Needs Camp Professionals
and Extension Indian Reservation
Many local partnerships
are being formed as the
is planned for the coming years?
adult and teen facilitators will be trained at regional and local
sites across the US. Implementation with children and project
evaluation are ongoing.