The Discovery Field Trip Program

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"We get very little opportunity to be able to experience and teach science or engineering because our curriculum is mainly based on improving their English learning skills….Giving them this opportunity to get outside of our classroom, and explore everything your museum has to offer will be a huge life experience for them and greatly appreciated.” – Keyana Bunting, 2nd Grade Teacher from Echo Loder Elementary School (93% of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch).

Program Type

Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School

Target Audience

All Students

Low Socio-Economic Status

Teachers/Educational Leaders

Location

El Dorado
Placer
Plumas
Sierra
Nevada

Grades

Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8

 Promising link

Program Impact

Our program goals are to create an experience that does the following things: creates interest and motivation within the STEAM fields, and enhances learning experiences by being a place where students can learn with and from others. We also aim to give students an opportunity to engage in scientific reasoning and reflect on the nature of science, while learning the importance of iteration and personal effort in learning. Finally, we want to empower students by creating experiences that demonstrate the relevance of tools and language of science. 

We aim to serve 48,000 students and 1,800 teachers over the next three years through field trips. We also intend to achieve a teacher response of “Yes” to 95% or higher of the responses to the following field trip survey question: “Did this field trip tie in or align with your curriculum?”

 

Program Overview

The Discovery’s Field Trip Program gives Pre-K through 8th grade students an opportunity to participate in hands-on, standards-based learning experiences focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) concepts.

The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) seeks to inspire by being the place to experience science. The Discovery develops and delivers at least ten Discovery Labs (45-minute lessons) tied to Common Core and Nevada Academic Content Standards in Science (NACSS) each academic year using best practices for science instruction. The Discovery combines these labs with a powerful hands-on, free-choice gallery exploration to create a memorable and inspiring out-of-school learning experience. The Discovery serves more than 17,000 Pre-K through 8th grade students annually through field trips.

How To Get Involved

The Discovery welcomes any STEM professionals who are interested in volunteering to contact us. Volunteer roles may include supporting an Educator in delivering a Discovery Lab, conducting a science demonstration during field trip museum exploration, or facilitating deeper engagement with exhibits.

Field Trip Program sponsorship opportunities may include:

  • $150,000 to sponsor the entire Field Trip Program for a year.
  • $30,000 to sponsor Washoe County School District bus transportation for field trips to The Discovery each year.

$1,000 to sponsor a field trip for 40-60 students (including bus transportation).

Funders and Partners

Program Funders:

  • NV Energy Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Western Nevada
  • Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation
  • Walmart Community Grants
  • Dermody Properties Foundation
  • John Ben Snow Memorial Trust
  • Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation
  • Lifestyle Homes Foundation

Program Partners:

  • Washoe County School District
  • Nell J. Redfield Coordinators
  • Sierra Nevada Journeys
  • TRIO Program, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Collaboration for Ongoing Visitor Experience Studies (COVES), Boston Museum of Science

Contacts

Meghan Scheidel
mscheidel@nvdm.org
(775) 398-5923

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.