“Discover SCIENCE with Dr. Bear®” will use hands-on, art-focused, inquiry based STEM learning to improve the physical, cognitive and social development of children in predominantly minority and immigrant families who suffer from disparities in healthcare delivery, health outcomes and school readiness.
This project will incorporate lessons learned from our previously funded SEPA, based in 5 Title I elementary schools in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County Maryland. In this proposal, “SCIENCE” will engage a newaudience of learners in their out of school time in the setting of community libraries. We will provideprogramming that uses hands- on, inquiry-based learning based on our established art and science curriculumdesigned to improve the physical, cognitive and social development of children and their families. “SCIENCE”will include instructional units, web based activities and ‘hands on/ brains on’ manipulation utilizing ourcompact, portable and unique “art and science in a box”, which consolidates all materials needed to bringexcitement to STEM learning. We will focus on preventative health areas of concern to our communityincluding asthma, stress, cardiometabolic risk, sleep, behavioral issues including bullying, genetic diseases likesickle cell disease and, injury prevention at home, in school and with sports. We will also provide professionaldevelopment training for informal educators.Specifically, we will adapt our previously successful in-school curriculum for a broader group of children fromgrades K to 5 who utilize the District of Columbia Public Libraries (DCPL) and Enoch Pratt Free Library (EPFL).The curriculum is aligned to both Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards andwill be expanded with the addition of bioengineering/imaging/computing, and mindfulness. With our integrated-art focused STEM and preventative health educational program, we will empower children by encouragingcuriosity and discovery as well as providing tools to incorporate health and science messaging to improveschool readiness.Over the course of the five years, we will implement the program progressively in 10 DCPL branches and 2Baltimore branches. Programming will take place during winter and spring breaks, professional developmentdays, special holidays and weekends. We will continue our successful one week hospital summer program, Dr.Bear’s Summer Science Experience, an interactive STEAM experience which takes place in the hospital andits research laboratories. In addition to student focused programming, we will also create Family LearningEvents, entertaining and collaborative programs for families, to be held in DCPL and EPFL branches with afocus on disease prevention which adversely affects our community Take home materials will includehandouts, web resources, apps and links in in both English and Spanish and will focus on reading readinessand mastery of STEM concepts.