Phenomenal Science

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One of the strongest portions of the units is the amount of opportunity for student discovery and dialog. After presenting a phenomenon to students, they were able to come to scientific conclusions, on their own as a class, that were later compared to informational text. The students were engaged and interested throughout the unit and could speak confidently while answering the investigation questions throughout the unit.

- Fifth Grade Teacher

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

All Students

Females

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latino

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

American Indian/Alaskan Native

English Language Learner

Low Socio-Economic Status

Teachers/Educational Leaders

Location

Michigan

Grades

Pre-K - 5

 Promising link

Program Impact

The Phenomenal Science program has trained 1,025 teachers in just two years, from 117 districts in Michigan impacting approximately 61,500 K-5 students. Our website has had 2700 visits in recent months and averages about 725 visitors per month. If half of those are teachers downloading units, that is potentially 261,000 more students reached over the past two years. Phenomenal Science intends to impact elementary science in schools through professional learning for teachers, providing free science curriculum resources, and ensuring science instructional time by phenomena-based teaching which includes meaningful subject integration.

Phenomenal Science Infographic

 

Program Overview

Phenomenal Science is ready to scale into additional areas.

What is Phenomenal Science? Phenomenal Science is both high quality professional learning AND free science units.

The Units are:

  • A FREE complete K-5 Science Curriculum to meet the NGSS / Michigan Science Standards
  • Developed by teachers and educators for teachers
  • 21 Units each centered on anchoring PHENOMENA

Phenomenal Science Professional Learning:

Phenomenal Science also offers a complete cadre of Professional Learning for teachers to enable them to make the shift to 3D teaching and learning. We offer flexible options like online learning support for PLCs, Coaches and Facilitator Training.

Meeting Needs:

Phenomenal Science meets three critical needs lacking in elementary science: lack of time for science instruction, accessible quality resources, and teacher comfort with teaching science. It promotes science instruction as a process of student sense-making.

Phenomenal Science Brochure

I love the hands-on components and encouraging dialog between kids to explore their own ideas and reasoning. - First Grade Teacher

Activities were hands-on, engaging, appropriate for the grade level and included deep-thinking questions. - Second Grade Teacher

Students had many opportunities for high-level thinking. Students were given the materials and expected to design and construct experiments based on their thoughts, questions and ideas. - Third Grade Teacher

I really enjoyed the student dialog that these lessons fostered and their ability to construct arguments about the external and internal structures of plants and animals. - Fourth Grade Teacher

One of the strongest portions of the units is the amount of opportunity for student discovery and dialog. After presenting a phenomenon to students, they were able to come to proper conclusions, on their own as a class, that were later confirmed in informational text. The students were engaged and interested throughout the unit and could speak confidently while answering the investigation questions throughout the unit. - Fifth Grade Teacher

How To Get Involved

Professional learning to support implementation of the units  is highly recommended and provided by Meta4. Contact us to find out how to bring us to your region. The units are freely available from Michigan Go Open, so check them out there.  Connect with the Phenomenal Science Teacher Online Community and let us know how you are using the units.

Currently, Phenomenal Science’s initial funding has come to an end. Most elementary schools struggle to implement the program because of the costs of professional learning needed for teachers and / or the cost of hands on materials for students, so support is needed for individual schools or regions just to implement Phenomenal Science. In order to reach our long-term goals around program improvement, evaluation, and changing the game in elementary science, the program has a distinct need for funding in the following areas:

     ●         Revision of units to embed community STEM expertise connections

     ●         Revision of units to integrate more Math and Computational Thinking

     ●         Development of online textbooks

Development of embedded formative assessment to build student success

Funders and Partners

Meta4 Community Education Partnerships, Central Michigan Science Mathematics Technology Center, Michigan Virtual University, Oakland Schools, Michigan Mathematics and Science Center Network, Michigan Department of Education

Contacts

Darcy McMahon

Phenomenal Science Project Director, CEO Meta4, Inc.

mcmahon@meta4edu.org

989-615-4372

http://phenomscience.weebly.com/

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.