California Agriculture
California Agriculture
California Agriculture
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California Agriculture

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Research articles

4-H Water Wizards: Lessons learned for effective afterschool science programming
by Marianne Bird, Aarti Subramaniam
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
The 4-H Water Wizards project shows the value of ongoing training and support in encouraging afterschool staff to teach hands-on science.
The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program created the 4-H Water Wizards project in response to two related issues: the need for high-quality science education programming in afterschool settings, and the desire to foster a citizenry that understands and can make informed decisions about water. In collaboration with afterschool program staff, Sacramento County 4-H implemented the 12-week water education project for children in grades four through six. We evaluated the program over four years (2012–2016) utilizing a pretest-posttest study design and evaluation surveys from participants and program staff. Our findings indicate positive outcomes both for program staff who delivered the project and for the children who participated in the program. Afterschool program staff gained competence in delivering hands-on and inquiry-based science programming. Fourth- and fifth-grade students demonstrated small but significant knowledge gain about water. Students also demonstrated increased awareness about water issues and water conservation behavior. We discuss our findings for both groups and share our insights for promising practices when collaborating with afterschool providers, especially relating to the importance and challenge of science education in afterschool settings.
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Volume 0, Number 0

Research articles

4-H Water Wizards: Lessons learned for effective afterschool science programming
by Marianne Bird, Aarti Subramaniam
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
The 4-H Water Wizards project shows the value of ongoing training and support in encouraging afterschool staff to teach hands-on science.
The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program created the 4-H Water Wizards project in response to two related issues: the need for high-quality science education programming in afterschool settings, and the desire to foster a citizenry that understands and can make informed decisions about water. In collaboration with afterschool program staff, Sacramento County 4-H implemented the 12-week water education project for children in grades four through six. We evaluated the program over four years (2012–2016) utilizing a pretest-posttest study design and evaluation surveys from participants and program staff. Our findings indicate positive outcomes both for program staff who delivered the project and for the children who participated in the program. Afterschool program staff gained competence in delivering hands-on and inquiry-based science programming. Fourth- and fifth-grade students demonstrated small but significant knowledge gain about water. Students also demonstrated increased awareness about water issues and water conservation behavior. We discuss our findings for both groups and share our insights for promising practices when collaborating with afterschool providers, especially relating to the importance and challenge of science education in afterschool settings.

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