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Nurturing Early Childhood Science - Family Activity Packs


"A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) suggests that young children need to be exposed to, and involved in, science. In addition, research indicates that family participation improves children's academic achievement (Barnard, 2004; Castro, Bryant, Peisner-Feinberg, & Skinner, 2004; Henderson & Mapp, 2002). In response to these suggestions, family packs have been designed and implemented as a part of a large-scale NSF project, NURTURES, focusing on early childhood science education. The packs were intended to encourage family involvement in the science education of young children. Each pack parallels the content being taught in the classroom, as well as providing family members with prompts to stimulate discourse related to the science content, while encouraging scientific inquiry and investigations outside of the school setting. This paper specifically looks at the strengths and challenges encountered during the initial design of these family packs and the implementation process."