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Deep Collaboration with a School District for Large Scale Programming

November 10, 2023

by Jennifer Roe, Director of Education, Imagination Station

Project Discovery is a dynamic three-year partnership between Imagination Station and Toledo Public Schools, aimed at engaging third-grade students, teachers and families with experiences that elevate student performance and interest in science and language arts.

Now entering its third year, Project Discovery focuses on using a variety of opportunities for teachers, students and families to immerse themselves in learning.

Students enjoy admission passes and field trips to Imagination Station. On field trips, students dive into a hands-on educational experience in the Think Tank Workshop and go on exciting journeys with 3D educational films in the KeyBank Discovery Theater. The culmination is the Family Science Night, where students show their families all they’ve learned at Imagination Station.

The educational opportunities extend beyond the walls of the science center. Every third-grade classroom is supplied with books covering various scientific concepts and a science festival is held at the students’ elementary school.

Throughout this program, teachers are supported in a variety of ways. For example, they are invited to attend professional development workshops and classroom kits with supplies are available for an engineering challenge called “Mars Mobile.”

Project Discovery has had a positive impact on teachers. In survey results, 97% of teachers agreed they are more confident teaching science; with a similar percentage emphasizing more hands-on activities, 94% are integrating STEM with English/Language Arts more often, and 91% are more confident teaching reading/writing skills with science content.

The ripple effect extends to students, with 95% of teachers stating enhanced knowledge about energy and renewable/nonrenewable resources and 94% observed a surge in student interest and confidence in their understanding of science.

In the first two years of Project Discovery:

  • 72 teachers participated in the professional development
  • 79 classroom kits of materials were distributed
  • 768 students and family members attended the Family Science Nights at Imagination Station
  • 1,977 students participated in the field trip experience
  • 3,155 admission passes were given to students
  • 6,750 books were delivered to students and teachers
  • 8,460 students participated in an Earth and Space science festival at their school

This fall, Imagination Station highlighted the success of Project Discovery at the Association of Science and Technology Centers annual conference.

Project Discovery is made possible through the generous support of our sponsor, KeyBank.