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Researching a New Pathway for Promoting Children’s Active Outdoor Science Exploration in Urban Settings

Marion Goldstein, Lisa Famularo, Jamie Kynn, Elizabeth Pierson

Abstract


To become robust scientific thinkers, children need meaningful opportunities to engage in science learning across a variety of contexts. Unfortunately, many children, especially those in urban settings and from low-income families, do not get the experiences needed to deepen their understanding of a broad range of scientific ideas, nor do they have consistent opportunities to engage in the practice of science. Informal and outdoor education programs offer a pathway to provide meaningful science learning experiences that prepare children for school and beyond, as well as offer health benefits of being physically active and outdoors. This paper discusses a federally funded initiative to develop a Toolkit and to research its promise for supporting children’s active, outdoor environmental science learning through the use of digital resources and hands-on activities. Findings showed that the Toolkit positively influenced participants’ behaviors and supported educators and parents in engaging children with focal science concepts and practices across a range of informal, outdoor contexts (e.g., local park departments, nature centers, school-based after-school programs with open green space).

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Keywords


science; outdoors; technology; media; urban

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2019-V11-I2-9108

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