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2016 LabVenture! Annual Impact Report

Last year, we inspired 9,271 students from all corners of our state, who investigated the interconnections between five key species (lobster, cod, copepod, herring, and humans) at our Cohen Center for Interactive Learning. Visiting an interactive research laboratory on the working waterfront motivates students in many different ways: to learn more now, to aspire to higher ambitions in the future, to consider the impact of their actions as stewards and as future voters.

A Powerful Experience for Students

We have found a wealth of actionable data by asking students directly what they think of LabVenture!. After each station, we asked students to respond to an evaluative question using ‘clickers’ to provide anonymous feedback. In the past, this has helped us adjust station activities to better engage students and meet learning goals. This year, we wanted to discover how the experience altered students’ interest in science. The results in the bar graphs above showed a strong positive impact. 93% of students surveyed said the station changed their view of what scientists do. 93% of students said their station helped them like science more, and 94% wanted to try another science activity as a result of their experience. The students also let us know that our stations are highly effective in delivering content, with 66% saying they learned a whole lot and 28% saying they learned a little from the activities.

 

LabVenture! by the Numbers

Students served9,271
Schools served146 (see them all here)
Teachers468
Sponsors64 (full list here)
Sessions222
Miles traveled30,425
Farthest round trip642 miles traveled by Limestone Community School and New Sweden Consolidated School
Images/videos taken by students84,240
Visits to website12,687

 

A Valuable Support for Teachers

Every teacher whose class attended LabVenture! received access to a suite of online curricular materials and activities to engage their students back in the classroom. They also received a classroom copy of our Diving Deeper activity cards to help students continue to make connections and explore the complex systems in our oceans. We received consistent feedback that the rich variety of extending activities is truly valuable for time-strapped teachers looking for accurate, engaging classroom materials.

While their students went through LabVenture!, teachers were encouraged to use the opportunity to observe their students and reflect on how to bring this style of learning back to their classroom. We offered an online tool to guide that reflection. Teachers let us know that the opportunity to step back and simply watch helped them better understand individual students’ learning styles and processes:

 

In August of 2016, we hosted 22 science and math teachers for a day-long professional development institute. They learned more about the intention and learning outcomes behind LabVenture!’s design and gained insights on how to better extend these approaches back at school. Teachers also worked together to plan for incorporating best practices and learning standards (such as Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards) more deeply within their existing lesson plans. 94% of participants responding to our feedback survey shared that they were more prepared to include our curriculum and best practices in their classrooms.

 

 

We hear daily from kids that their time at GMRI was something they will remember as they continue to grow in their roles as our next generation. We’re honored to be supporting our future voters, scientists, fishermen, artists, leaders, and residents. This quote from a student eloquently summarizes why this program matters, not just for student learning now, but for our state’s future:

 

Thank you for being a part of the community that makes this all possible.