Research has shown that children who start school having missed critical early learning opportunities are already at risk for academic failure. Bringing Science Home with PEEP seeks to narrow this gap by finding new avenues to bring early science experiences to preschool children (ages 3–5), particularly those living in communities with few resources. CCT researchers will work with media specialists and two proven home visiting organizations to collaboratively develop and investigate a new model that engages families in science exploration through joint media engagement and home visiting programs. The project will leverage the popularity and success of the NSF-funded PEEP and the Big Wide World/El Mundo Divertido de PEEP materials to engage both parents and preschool children with science.
The team will use a Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) approach to iteratively study the materials and implementation process and to assess its impact on parents and caregivers. The intervention will include the PEEP Family Engagement Toolkit that will support 20 weeks of family science investigations using new digital and hands-on science learning resources. It also will include new professional development resources for home educators, and strategies for implementing the Toolkit with families. Ultimately, this research will build practical and theoretical understanding of effective family engagement models in science learning, the types of supports that families and home educators need to implement these models, and how to implement these models across different home visiting programs.
This project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments.