In this study led by Drs. Kelly Riedinger and Martin Storksdieck with assistance from Victoria Bonebrake, the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning will research and evaluate the Explorer at Large (XAL) pilot program. Through freely distributed videos and associated instructional materials (study and teacher guides), hands-on in-class and outdoor activities, field trips to relevant local settings, and parent-student engagements, XAL aims to enable a selection of students in the Central Ohio region to experience and practice scientific thinking skills that prepare them for advanced education and career success within a pedagogical approach that taps into children’s natural curiosity and playfulness. A holistic eco-system of curriculum-driven content invite students on journeys in the field and in the lab, together with experts in pursuit of knowledge and discovery, and provide corresponding resources and support for teachers and other educators. Explorer At Large’s goal is to engage students with elements of authenticity, real-world exploration, and live-action adventure and to deliver meaningful science content while preparing them for future learning and success in life.
We will implement a research and evaluation study as a proof-of-concept exercise to demonstrate that the materials can be implemented by teachers successfully and in a way that leads to outcomes for students. The Pilot will target approximately 800-900 students from across 8 schools in the Central Ohio region. The study will include approximately 35-40 classrooms total, including K, 3rd, & 5th grade. You can read the Year 1 Report here.