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Project RE-SEED: Impact of Program

Impact on Students. Random questionnaires to a few classrooms have indicated that more than 90% of the students assisted by RE-SEED Science Resource Agents (SRAs) wanted their SRAs to return the next year. An equal percentage of students said that they had learned a lot of science from their SRA. Some students have written letters of appreciation to SRAs, thanking them for their role in helping them understand specific science concepts and for what they mean. They also express their admiration for the achievements of the particular SRA. One wrote, "I can't believe that we have somebody that teaches us that helped build a camera that went to the moon. He makes things that are boring fun." Another wrote, "He also taught me that science has a lot to do with math. I still think science is awesome and maybe someday I can be a science teacher like Mr. Anderson."

Some teachers who have worked with SRAs for a number of years have observed a change in their students' attitudes toward science. One teacher said, "[I have heard] many positive comments from students and parents about [our retiree's] participation in our Science Program. One or two unmotivated students particularly connected with him and there was a huge attitude change." Another teacher who worked with an SRA for three years, commented, "The science teachers from the high school told me that the students are entering with a much higher understanding of the physical science concepts. Our RE-SEED volunteer is responsible for that."

Even parents of students have noticed changes in their kids' attitude about science and have sent unsolicited comments to the retirees: "Dear Mr. Anderson, My children loved the days when you were at school. On those days they would tell us very excitedly about what they had done with you that day, and they often repeated the experiments at home."

Impact on Teachers. Limited, random surveys have indicated that the majority of the teachers consider the SRAs to be very helpful to them and their students. Commenting on ways their teaching has changed as a result, teachers have said:

"I try to tie more real world experiences into my lessons. I will continue to look at science in this manner."

"[I do] more experiments and demonstrations; less textbook work."

"I am able to understand the concepts better, which helped the way I taught the students."

"[I have] new knowledge. [I feel the ]excitement of scientific process."

"I better understand what I am supposed to teach..."

"The pupils enjoyed science in action as opposed to reading about it. They also became more inquisitive, asking 'Why?' 'How?' and 'What if?'."

Impact on Scientists. In their own words:

"I told my wife, this is the second best thing I've done in my life."

"My week revolves around it now. I'm exhausted when I come out, but I find it very satisfying."

"I enjoyed the experience tremendously. I enjoyed working with the students and teachers. In just this short time, my appreciation for teachers has grown immeasurably. I look forward to participating again next fall, hopefully with the same school."

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