(August 18, 2014) – A Department of Defense Education Activity Grant evaluation of elementary science programs that incorporate Pitsco Education Science Missions revealed significant gains in state testing by students in Grades 3-5 in Okaloosa County, FL.

The goal for the Interact, Investigate, and Transform Grant was for at least 80% of military students in five targeted schools to achieve gains in science of 1% in 2012 and 2% in 2013. Instead, the third, fourth, and fifth graders combined to register a 14% gain on the Discovery Education Assessment for science during the two-year period. As part of their experience, all students rotated through the hands-on Pitsco Missions programs.

When asked what activities used in the labs were most beneficial to their overall science program, teachers included the following among their comments:
• “The Missions were wonderful and the students enjoyed using them and I was surprised how independent they were able to be.”
• “The Missions were helpful. The hands-on experience and the ability to have the students think beyond the activity was helpful. I enjoyed the lab as well.”
• “Missions, particularly Air Power, Space, and Soil and Rocks. These were a great reinforcement for complex ideas.”

Third-grade teacher Renee Laney of Eglin Elementary says she likes the well-rounded design of the Missions science program. Students fill roles – Commander, Information Specialist, Materials Specialist, and Communications Specialist – and sharpen their reading, math, and science skills simultaneously as they cooperatively complete hands-on activities in small teams.

“I’m not standing in front of them and they’re listening to me,” Laney said. “They are actually reading. They are being told what to do within the text. So, one, they’re independently reading. Another, they’re having to actually finish the job on their own, learn a step-by-step process, and hand me a finished product at the end – all without me intervening.”

• Summary of report: http://www.pitsco.com/Classroom_Solutions/?tree=11&art=7490
• Feature story on success with Pitsco Missions: http://www.pitsco.com/Classroom_Solutions/?tree=11&art=7489
• Click to Tweet: Okaloosa Co., FL, students see gains in science, thanks in part to Pitsco curr. http://www.pitsco.com/Classroom_Solutions/?tree=11&art=7489
• Images: For high-resolution images, visit http://www.pitsco.com/About/News.aspx or email Publicrelations@pitsco.com.

Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.