March 29, 2019
How should hands-on activities, events, and trainings be designed to increase visitors’ positive attitudes about interest (“chemistry is interesting”), sense of relevance (“chemistry is connected to my life”), and feelings of self-efficacy (“I can learn chemistry”) around chemistry?
Through project research, knowledge was gained to address this question about how activity content, format, and facilitation affect visitor attitudes about chemistry. That knowledge was incorporated into the design of educational hands-on chemistry activities and resources included in the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit, which were distributed to 250 Network partners across the country for hosting public events last fall, many of whom received positive reactions from their event participants!
210,526 people reached through Let’s Do Chemistry Oct-Dec 2018 events across the U.S.
6,121 volunteers participated in and facilitated hands-on activities
The 250 NISE Network partners who participated in the project and hosted national Let's Do Chemistry events included science centers and museums, American Chemical Society (ACS) Local Sections and Student Chapters, college and universities (e.g., chemistry departments and outreach programs), planetariums, other informal science education or professional chemistry organizations.
Note: Data is self-reported by host sites. Those who self-reported as Organization type "professional chemistry / chemistry outreach program" also identified themselves as one of the above type of "Chemistry organizations." However, some host sites did not report themselves as a "professional chemistry / chemistry outreach program" but did identify as a Chemistry organization resulting in a higher response rate (ie, ACS Local Section, 12%) than Organization type (ie, professional chemistry / chemistry outreach program, 11%).
Partners hosted Let’s Do Chemistry events in many locations, reaching many audiences.
Other locations included: public libraries, K-12 schools, school district family science events, day camps, afterschool programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, church, community organizations, community centers such as street markets, fall festivals and malls, fair grounds, hospital clinic, state park, and national laboratory.
The Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit, developed in collaboration with the American Chemical Society (ACS), provided a great opportunity for NISE Network partners to host an event during the fall 2018 National Chemistry Week, themed "Chemistry is Out of This World."
69% of kit recipients used their Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry materials to host an event during National Chemistry Week in October 2018
40% of the kit recipients reported utilizing ACS volunteers for their events
30% of partners reported collaborating with either a NISE Net member or ACS group
Through our Network partners, the audiences reached through events and programming varies at each of the 250 host site locations but in total are able to reach many different audiences who might not otherwise have the opportunity to have hands-on chemistry experiences.
Partner highlights and experiences
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Texas
Watch this short video clip [1:29] highlighting their chemistry event: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/10/25/fort-worth-museum-of-science-and-history-mixes-it-up-during-chemistry-week/
Children’s Discovery Museum, Illinois
“The museum hosted a block party, Day of Play, engaging over 3,000 community members with the Let's Do Chemistry activities.”
West Texas A&M University, Texas
“ChemCon 2018: Outerspace! reached over 300 6-8th graders and their teachers from surrounding school districts!”
Eastern Oregon University, Oregon
“EOU also hosted activities at “Festival of Trees,” a community outreach event where Rocket Reactions and Sublimation Bubbles were chosen in connection with the NCW theme, and were great crowd pleasers!”
Discovery Station, Hagerstown, Maryland
Fairbanks Children’s Museum, Alaska
Super Saturday, Let’s Do Chemistry event: “We saw so many smiles and positive comments as well as thank you's for providing this event. We feel that we gave children and their families a great experience in the world of Chemistry and the kits allowed them to see multiple facets to Chemistry.”
Boston Children's Museum
Shared by Boston's Children's Museum
Thank you to the American Chemical Society members and museum partners for hosting events in their communities to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.
Funded by the National Science Foundation through the Museum of Science.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DRL 1612482. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Science Foundation.