IBEX Space Explorers Afterschool Science Club

Overview
Program Element / Activity Title:
IBEX Space Explorers Afterschool Science Club
E/PO Project Name:
IBEX
Contact Information:
Program Element / Activity Website:
Program Element / Activity Partners within NASA:
IBEX
Short Description:

As part of a Chicago Public Schools systemic initiative, the IBEX Space Explorers After School Program (IBEX SEC) trains teachers to use the IBEX-funded GEMS SSS Curriculum with under-represented students.  The purpose of this program is to increase student exposure to space science that they do not receive during the school day and to increase their enjoyment in science activities.  This program provides professional development and classroom support for these science clubs through workshops and through staff site visits to classrooms.

Program Element / Activity Image / Visual:
Space Explorers Club participants enjoy a hands-on demonstration at the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) in January 2012.
Program Element / Activity Status
Please share any additional updates or information about your program element / activity:
For the fifth year, IBEX SEC program evaluation has shown statistically significant increases in: -Teacher content knowledge in space sciences
-Teacher confidence in teaching space science
-Teacher use of space science content with their students
-Teacher understanding of inquiry-based education methods
-Teacher use of inquiry-based education methods in their practice
-Student content knowledge gains

100% of students report they would do attend the club again, with 92% reporting they would recommend the club to a friend.
Audience Metrics
Who is the primary audience of your program element / activity?:
Who is the secondary audience of your program element / activity?:
Evaluation
National Priorities and Coordination Approaches as Articulated in CoSTEM:
  • Improve STEM Instruction
  • Increase and Sustain Youth and Public Engagement in STEM
  • Better Serve Groups Historically Under-represented in STEM Fields
  • Contribute to the conversation about building new models for leveraging SMD assets and expertise and achieving the most significant impact of STEM education investments.
  • Build and use evidence-based approaches
What are the goals and objectives of your program element / activity?:
Educator participants will demonstrate: knowledge of SSS Unit 1 or 3 materials and IBEX concepts, understanding of inquiry-based teaching strategies, confidence in abilities to use inquiry-based teaching strategies in the classroom, state a positive attitude toward science, and will feel positive about their own abilities to implement the SSS Unit 1 or 3 activities.

Student participants will demonstrate knowledge of SSS Unit 1 or 3 and IBEX concepts. Students will state a positive attitude toward science and the Space Explorers Club afterschool program. Educators will and the Space Explorers Club afterschool program, and
What is the design of the evaluation process for your program element / activity?:
Results from the content knowledge and attitudinal surveys inform program facilitators of where more focus needs to be in the PD sessions to maintain or increase those areas for subsequent participants. Results from the confidence and inquiry-based teaching strategy surveys help define how to tailor the coaching elements of the program to best support the individual during the club. End of session survey informs program facilitators of how well the specific elements were received and what areas more effort or changes need to occur in.
What are the main impacts of your effort to date and how do they correlate to the project's goals and objectives:
As a result of the Space Explorers Club professional development workshops, educators felt prepared to teach the content addressed in the workshop at a statistically significant level. Students involved in the Space Explorers Clubs using the GEMS SSS in Chicago public schools showed pre/post test gains on knowledge of key concepts. Chicago Public Schools Space Explorers Afterschool Science Club educator and student participants using the GEMS Space Science Sequence curriculum showed pre/post test gains on knowledge of key concepts: (a) for Unit 1, educators showed gains on 6/6 questions, with statistically significant gains on 3/6 (2011) 5/6 questions (2012) and 4/6 questions (2013); (b) for Unit 1, students showed gains on 6/6 questions, with statistically significant gains on 5/6 questions (2011) and 6/6 questions (2012) and (2013); (c) For Unit 3, educators showed gains on 4/4 questions, with statistically significant gains on 2/4 questions (2011, 2012, 2013); (d) For Unit 3, students showed gains on 4/4 questions with statistically significant gains on 2/4 questions (2010) and 4/4 questions (2012)(2013); (e) For Unit 4, students showed gains on 4/5 questions. When Space Explorers Club students were asked to indicate how they felt about the Club culminating event program, they circled the following words: happy, interested, confident, excited, free, comfortable, important, inspired, special, (feel/felt) good about myself, and welcome. At the end of the afterschool program, over 94% of students reported they would recommend the club to others. (See the attached summative evaluation report, starting on page 21 and the final reports from 2013-14)
Have your evaluation findings / impacts been published? If so, where?:
A summary of some evaluation findings is published in the conference proceedings of the 2013 Astronomical Society of the Pacific E/PO conference.