What is LEAP into Science?
LEAP into Science is a partnership between The Franklin Institute Science Museum and the Free Library of Philadelphia that engages children and families in science and literacy by integrating hands-on science activities with children's literature. This effort is supported by a 5-year National Science Foundation grant which was awarded in 2007 to build a model museum/library partnership to promote science and literacy. The Franklin Institute's strength in science programming and the Library's expertise in children's literature result in an innovative afterschool program connecting books and science. The library environment is an ideal setting for informal science programs. With ready access to books and the Internet, and a desire to support kids' scientific exploration, libraries can provide educational science opportunities for children and families during afterschool hours and on evenings or weekends. LEAP into Science aims to inspire exploration and questioning, providing opportunities for children and families to think like scientists and investigate scientific phenomena with familiar materials and relevant children's fiction and nonfiction books.
LEAP into Science aims to achieve the following impacts:
Increase science interest, understanding, and engagement by involving underserved families in cross-generational science and literacy experiences
Make science accessible to a diverse audience by bringing science activities into community settings
Build community capacity and provide training and experience in informal science and literacy connections to library afterschool staff and children's librarians
LEAP into Science curriculum resources consist of afterschool workshops designed for children grades K-4 which integrate hands-on science activities and children's books, family workshops which engage children and adults in tabletop science activities linked with related children's books, as well as science bookmarks and exploration cards which extend learning in the home environment.
Another central goal of LEAP into Science is to demonstrate how museums, libraries, and other educational institutions can work together to enhance the capacity of urban communities to engage children and families in science. In 2011, LEAP into Science expanded to 10 new sites nationwide in efforts to better understand issues of sustainability and institutional partnerships in supporting science and literacy learning in informal environments.
Where is the LEAP into Science program currently happening?
LEAP into Science programming is currently taking place in Philadelphia, PA as well as 10 expansion sites nationwide. Each site consists of 2-3 partnering organizations. All sites are listed below.
WOW Children's Museum
Lafayette Public Library
Discovery Center Museum
Rockford Public School District #205
NEW JERSEY, Westfield
New Jersey School-age Care Coalition
New Jersey Department of Education,
Office of Student Support Services
NEW MEXICO, Albuquerque
New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
Rio Rancho Public Library
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries
NEW YORK, Queens, New York City
Queens Library, Children's Library Discovery Center
New York Hall of Science
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Great Lakes Science Center
Case Western Reserve University,
Center for Science & Math Education
Multnomah County Library
Oregon Health Career Center (AKA Science)
Multnomah County Schools Uniting Neighborhood Service System (SUN)
The Franklin Institute Science Museum
The Free Library of Philadelphia
Martin Library/York County Library
School District of the City of York
York College, Department of Education
SOUTH CAROLINA, Columbia
EdVenture Children's Museum
Richland County School District One
UTAH, Salt Lake City
Natural History Museum of Utah
Salt Lake City Public Library
KUED (TV Station)
How do library, museum, and afterschool professionals get involved?
LEAP into Science an serve as a model program that other urban science centers, libraries, and afterschool environments can use to build science interest and engagement among children, youth leaders, afterschool staff, and families.
If you would like to learn more information about LEAP into Science as the program expands in the future, send your contact information to Julia Skolnik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0714658. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the project team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.