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Journey through the Universe
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Program Assessment
The Commitment

Family Science NightAs part of normal program operations, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is committed to providing baseline assessment of the Journey through the Universe program in four key areas:

  1. Whether Journey through the Universe met the strategic education goals that were set forth by the community.

  2. The effectiveness of the programming components delivered by the Visiting Researchers and Visiting Educators—the Educator Workshops, Classroom Visits, and Family and Public Programs.

  3. The effectiveness of the educational materials employed as the core program curriculum—the Education Modules or a Customized Curriculum—to meet curricular need, and be implemented in the classroom.

  4. The effectiveness of the program coordination efforts of both the program staff at the Center and the community’s Local Team. 

Assessment is conducted with the community’s Local Team members, the attendees of the programming in the community, the presenters, and program staff at the Center.   

Assessment reports are provided to the Journey through the Universe community, the presenters, and, as appropriate, other stakeholders.  Assessment provides the community critical feedback, and serves to inform the Center as to new programmatic directions and areas for needed improvement.

View Baseline Assessment Results

You can explore program objectives, assessment protocols, and assessment results, as well as download the baseline assessment tools and community reports, for each of the following Journey through the Universe program components:

Customized Assessment

The baseline assessment provided as part of normal program operations can be augmented with additional studies to assess the program’s strategic impact both in the short term and longitudinally.   For example, given the systemic nature of the Journey through the Universe program—it’s ability to be implemented across an entire grade level, and with lessons that can be integrated into the Earth and space science curriculum—protocols can be developed to assess impact on standardized test scores, and at a time when No Child Left Behind mandates testing in science. 

As a working example of what is possible, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education recently worked with Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) to define and integrate a robust assessment analysis into their proposed Journey through the Universe program—which targets all 7,000 5th graders, their teachers, and their families.  BCPS would implement a Customized Compendium of Lessons as the 5th grade Earth and space science curriculum, which has been tailored to the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC).   The assessment would be conducted by BCPS’s Division of Research, Evaluation, Assessment, and Accountability to assess: 1) the level of implementation by teachers in the classroom across the 5th grade teaching staff, and 2) program impact on students as gauged by benchmark testing (grade-level wide) and from scores in science on the standardized state test (MSA). 

An Executive Summary of the proposed BCPS program provides an overview of the objectives, the programming components customized to the school district’s needs, and elements of the assessment plan.  A more comprehensive overview of assessment metrics for the program can also be explored.

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education will work with your community to develop an assessment plan appropriate to your needs.
©2008, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education