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K-12 Science 2 Schools Traveling Science Programs: W.O.W.

Program Title:
Program Subtitle:
(Wonders of Our World)
Ohio State University Columbus, OH, United States
Geographical Area:
Columbus, Dublin, and Wooster, Ohio
General Description:
Wonders of Our World (W.O.W.) is a science education program that takes hands-on science into elementary schools. W.O.W. was founded in 1999 to connect teachers and scientists in their efforts to improve science education. The goals of the program are to bring the excitement of science to the classroom, to help teachers improve their science teaching, to help students learn science concepts through experimentation, and to supplement schools' existing science programs by providing equipment, resources, and volunteer support. These goals are attained through a long-term commitment by the participating schools and the W.O.W. program. Schools join W.O.W. for three years, during which teachers attend monthly professional development workshops, each focused on a different science unit area, and volunteers help teachers conduct experiments in their classrooms. At the workshops teachers learn background information from expert OSU scientists and they work through a wide selection of experiments they can use in their classrooms to teach the same science concepts to their students. Trained W.O.W. volunteers then visit the classrooms to assist the teachers as they implement the experiments. The W.O.W. volunteer force is made up of scientists who work in the community, parents, and OSU students. W.O.W. donates all the necessary supplies to run the experiments and after each unit is completed the supplies are organized as kits for the school to keep, so teachers can continue to teach the hands-on lessons. After the three years, schools are encouraged to maintain contact and are able to consult with W.O.W. personnel, but are responsible for recruiting and training their own volunteers and holding their own teacher's training sessions. Students enjoy learning science with W.O.W. and their scores are improving, teachers are becoming more comfortable and competent teaching hands-on science, and volunteers enjoy the opportunity to support science education. W.O.W. is currently serving six schools in the Columbus area and one in Wooster, approximately 2500 students and 140 teachers with the help of almost 300 volunteers.
Area of Science:
We work with schools long-term to cover all of their science benchmarks, from the scientific method to geology, to chemistry and physics, to life sciences.
Target Grade Levels:
Target Group Size:
We work with individual classrooms.
Most schools are supported by program funds, so there is no cost to them, but some schools purchase materials and supplies for the program with PTA funds.

The information contained in this page is accurate as of June, 2003.