Today is the last day of Leap into Science’s #LEAPWeek. We’ve enjoyed reading about and looking at the great LEAP into Science work of all our project partners, including the kick of a National Leadership Institute for the second cohort of expansion sites. ILI is excited to be share how we are leading the LEAP National research efforts, examining how science interest develops for families with young children who attend Leap programs. We believe the findings from this study will inform our understanding of whether, and if so, how Leap into Science programs support long-term science interest. With this goal in mind, ILI has been set out the following questions:
- How and to what extent is family science interest sparked, reinforced and/or further developed among a subset of participants in the Leap program? Do distinct phases and patterns of family interest development emerge across families or within a family?
- Are there differences in patterns of family science interest development between participants in rural and urban Leap sites?
- What contextual differences between rural and urban Leap sites and programs may influence family science interest development?
- What other contextual factors emerge that appear to influence family science interest development for Leap program participants including, depth and extent of program involvement, awareness of community STEM/literacy resources, accessibility of community STEM/literacy resources, framing of science content (e.g., primarily literacy focused or STEM focused)? Etc.?
Our team, Debbie and Lynn are currently in an interesting place in our research. We are setting up the research methods for this next phase of research, including deciding states we will focus on during data collection and how we will take an look in-depth at families’ experiences at both a rural and urban museum and library in each focus state.