1. Mary Haggerty
  2. Director of First 8 Labs and Media Engagement
  4. WGBH Educational Foundation
  1. Jessica Andrews
  2. Project Director
  4. WGBH Educational Foundation
  1. Heather Lavigne
  2. http://cct.edc.org/people/lavigne-heather-0
  3. Research Scientist
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)

Ruff Family Science

NSF Awards: 1713494

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Adult learners

Ruff Family Science, a research and development project that aims to foster joint media engagement and hands-on science exploration among diverse, low-income parents and their 4- to 8-year-old children. Building on the success of the NSF-funded PBS series FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, the project leverages FETCH's funny animated host, along with its proven approach to teaching science, to inspire educationally disadvantaged families to explore science together. More specifically, the project undertook a research and design process to create resources (digital media, hands-on science activities, and supports for educators) that meet the needs of families with parents enrolled in adult education programs (ESL, Adult Basic Education, etc.) but also services that benefit the entire family.

To inform content development and assess the promise of the resources achieving intended impact goals, the research strategy was comprised of four main components: a Needs Assessment to determine the needs of adult and family educators and programs in supporting family science learning; a Prototype Testing Phase to explore factors that support or impede effective implementation of the resources and surface ways to improve them; an Implementation Study to evaluate how the resources might best be implemented in family learning programs; and a Summative Evaluation to measure the project's intended impacts through a randomized control-group study that compared outcomes among those who are exposed to the resources with those who are not.

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