Study of Dissemination and Use
| Front-end | Pilot
Project | Summative | Supplemental
Summary: Findings from a Summative Study
by: Edu, Inc.
Dr. Douglas Spencer, Lorin Graham, Robert P. Davis, Victoria
Angelotti, and Dianne Penn McDaniel
report is a summative evaluation of the In-Touch Science program.
The project, sponsored by Cornell University and funded by the
National Science Foundation, combines children?s hands-on, informal
science activities with national training of adult science facilitators.
on the period from October 1999 through December 2001, the study
investigates children?s engagement with the In-Touch curriculum,
adults comfort level as science facilitators leading In-Touch
activities, and the successful national dissemination of the curriculum
through training adults. The study details the project?s success
in reaching target audiences.
primary recommendation is that the project build on success by
articulating a clearly focused plan to establish In-Touch Science
as a sustainable, fiscally independent project, allowing the Cornell
team to withdraw to a support role.
option that the team may consider is expanding the size and scope
of the In-Touch web site to offer the field a model for dissemination
of informal science activities through training of adult facilitators
supported by web-based content and curriculum.
report presents results of national surveys, database analyses,
and interviews with over 100 In-Touch users. Section One ? A Summary
of Findings reports user?s comments about the curriculum, the
results of a national dissemination effort and recommendations
for the project?s future. Section Two ? Portraits of Use presents
case studies of In-Touch Science used by four target audiences:
girls, children with disabilities, Native Americans, and youth
in urban ethnic minority communities.
project met or exceeded the majority of the goals stated in its
original grant application. The project established a rich database
showing that the project trained over 1,000 adult community science
facilitators. Thirty national workshops led by the Cornell team
spawned 21 second generation workshops and three third generation
workshops. Workshops receive consistently high ratings.
third of the workshop graduates were contacted via email or telephone.
41% of the respondents said that they have used or are using In-Touch
Science. There is clear evidence that In-Touch Science is reaching
its intended market: youth programs offering informal education.
It is also being used by homeschool families and school instructors
to support science learning. The project successfully reached
three of its four target audiences, with use among Native American
communities less pronounced.
are engaged by the activities, enjoy the hands-on nature of the
projects, and are able to articulate clear questions and observations
about the science concepts they are experiencing and observing.
Some units are more popular than others. At this time, there is
not demand for additional units. The comfort level of adults as
science facilitators varies.
current need is the development of a clear plan for the project?s
next phase. There is unmet market demand for hands-on science
curriculum supported by training and easy access to on-line resources.
Science has demonstrated that its Train-the-Trainer process is
a viable and successful dissemination model.
the project?s fiscal independence and sustainability is essential
to maximize the return on the National Science Foundation?s current
investment in In-Touch Science. The Cornell-led team should look
to multiple funding sources, including the National Science Foundation,
in order to secure second round funding, allowing Cornell to move
from a leadership to support role.
for the next phase include:
the In-Touch ?brand? and market segments
the sustainability of the train-the-trainer program
demand for web-based background information to provide science
content for children and adult In-Touch users
a support center for adult community science facilitators