Inspiring young scientists
Children are natural-born scientists. They’re curious about the world around them, ask lots of questions, and love the process of discovery. Splash programs make use of these talents by using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to science education. According to experts, this approach helps children develop lifelong science literacy skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork.
When Splash was founded in 1999, science education had disappeared from most elementary school classrooms in California. While science standards remained on the books, education policy-makers and administrators placed far more emphasis on language arts, math, and social studies.
A fraction of elementary teachers continued to teach science but many young students were never turned on to science. As a result, they entered middle school and high school ill-prepared for secondary-level science lessons. As this scenario played out across the nation, the United States educational system began producing too few scientists and engineers to meet our future needs. This is cause for serious concern because science and engineering have always been our primary engines of economic growth.
Although science and science testing recently re-emerged in California’s elementary schools, many teachers struggle to add these requirements to an already overwhelming workload. Relatively few elementary school teachers receive their undergraduate degrees in science and many lack the confidence to teach it. Current demands on teachers often exceed the hours in a day, making it hard to find time to integrate new lessons.
Having foreseen this problem a decade ago, Splash is well-positioned to help elementary and secondary teachers in the Sacramento region build the next generation of American scientists with easy-to-use, standards-based science curricula. With Splash, teachers don’t need a background in science; they can learn right along with their students!
By offering teachers place-based, hands-on science curricula, training and support, Splash helps make science easy for teachers and fun for students. Better yet, the curricula are provided at no cost to eligible teachers. Since 1999, Splash has inspired teachers to teach science, students to enjoy it, and some to pursue it as a career.