Science Education

Grantees in this story

Museums can have a positive impact when it comes to helping teachers make science education more engaging with activities that inspire and motivate students. This is one of the findings from a recent study that looked at professional development opportunities offered by Carnegie Corporation grantee, The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), in Chicago.

Science teachers (above) in Chicago build a terrarium for a hands-on lesson in ecosystems as part of a professional development course at The Museum of Science and Industry. Museum courses target teachers in grades 4-to-8 from high-needs schools who have little background in science.

The study by an international expert on K-12 science and math curriculum and assessment looked at a novel training program for science teachers. Researchers compared two groups of teachers in grades 4-to-8 with comparable baselines in knowledge and student demographics. The “treatment” group participated in an MSI course that focuses on energy-related topics called Get Re-Energized, and the “control” group did not. Teachers who participated in the course outperformed those who did not by as much as 18 percent, and their students also did better. Read the study, which was commissioned by MSI, and news coverage about the program by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.