After three years of applying for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Informal Science Education grant, we finally were awarded the grant to work with the same group of Family Science Participants for five years. We are now in year two of the project called, "Be a Scientist".
There are some really cool aspects of this project, one of which I will share here.
I was inspired by the Seven Up! documentary series and we are going to create something similar with the families who participate in our Family Science Courses. The following videos are from the first year of the project and the students are all first graders. We hope to bring four more each year as these students go through elementary school.
The videos have been created by Prof. Jed Dannenbaum, Prof. Doe Mayer and their amazing students - Alejandro, Jessie and Josie from the USC Cinema School.
Some points to keep in mind and notice:
* we are targeting parents with this video. The technical content has intentionally been downplayed. We emphasize the fact that anyone can help their child learn and do science - regardless of background or prior attributes. These videos will be played at various Back to School night recruiting events to help parents see the value of engaging in learning activities alongside their children.
* Success for Iridescent is when the parent continues the learning that we initiated in the classroom. This is what we see in the Medina Family video. Parents are the biggest influencers in a child's life. Our strategy is to exponentially increase our program's impact by bringing the parents along with us on our mission.
* Success for Iridescent is also when the parent supports and encourages the child to persist through failure as Knick's mother does when he despairs.
We are so excited to start creating the series for year two. We would also love any ideas and suggestions on themes or story lines to explore :)