SEDL home ADVANCING RESEARCH, IMPROVING EDUCATION

The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

Expert Reviews for
21st Century Afterschool Project (CASP)

You are viewing a review written for 21st Century Afterschool Project (CASP), a resource in the Science Afterschool Consumers Guide.

Click the "Resource Details" tab below to view the full resource description.

Resource
Details
Expert
Reviews

Community Reviews
No reviews on file.
Rate this resource
 
  Afterschool Expert   Science Expert  

Review Synopsis: by afterschool program expert Tom Bromage

The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project's Exploring Water Science in Afterschool Curriculum contains two units of easy-to-use, hands-on science experiments that focus on the properties and the ecological impacts of water. With an inquiry-based model and a focus on scientific concepts, the curriculum meets learning needs for students in grades four to eight through easily replicable lessons. The Lesson Plans provide instructors with background information and clear instructions for implementation. Downloadable lesson plans and easily encountered, inexpensive materials make this an economical endeavor for organizations hoping to reinforce key scientific concepts relating to the most essential liquid on our planet, water.
Full Review:
The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project's Exploring Water Science in Afterschool Curriculum contains two units of easy-to-use, hands-on science experiments that focus on the properties and the ecological impacts of water. Given the fact that the activities were created in a group effort by the New Jersey Department of Education, the Liberty Science Center and the New Jersey School Age Coalition, it is not surprising that the materials provide ample opportunities for participants to reinforce related school-based learning, though in a more hands-on set of activities.

With an inquiry-based model and a focus on scientific concepts, the curriculum meets learning needs for students in grades four to eight in easily replicable lessons. The lesson plans provide instructors with background information and clear instructions for implementation. Downloadable lesson plans and easily encountered, inexpensive materials make this an economical endeavor for organizations hoping to reinforce key scientific concepts relating to the most essential liquid on our planet, water. In fact, the cost to organization is so minimal that repeated experiments should not turn away even the thriftiest of practitioners.

The clearly stated goals for the lessons should be easily achieved by after school instructors that typically are working on a tight schedule, as minimal preparation is required for the activities. Many afterschool programs place a premium on space. Exploring Water Science in Afterschool Curriculum should not cramp the existing activities at such sites. The nominal materials used require minimal space and virtually no storage.

Simple concepts follow one another in the lessons at a pace slow enough to allow participants that may be attending erratically sufficient chances to play catch-up. Inconsistent participation should not disrupt the learning given the fact that the concepts can be understood independently from one another.

The instructors will be largely responsible for infusing the social and entertainment appeal for Unit 1, as the goals for this first unit are more academic. However, Unit 2 involves more materials and should stimulate an abundance of interest in investigation. There is little doubt the instructors will be able to use these materials effectively, and in my experience, they will be able to use these materials in a way that lets them reinforce what students may have learned about this topic during the regular school day, though in by addressing it in a slightly different way. These materials should permit them to support their youth development objectives while sharing important science content. In addition, the extension activities, which are intended to be used at home, offer opportunities for students to share some of what they've learned with their families and to help them become engaged in exploration of scientific concepts.

In conclusion, Exploring Water Science in Afterschool Curriculum is appropriate for an afterschool audience that is focused on reinforcing academic knowledge. It creates opportunities for youth to see science as part of their everyday experience. Practitioners create opportunities for youth to interact in a familiar social atmosphere and explore key concepts pertaining to water and its ecological impact.