Camp FETCH! Guide: Evaluation Report
WGBH Boston (wgbh.org) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to, in part, develop outreach materials based on the children's television series FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman. The outreach materials were designed to help typically underserved kids learn about science in informal camp or after-school settings. The centerpiece of this effort was the Camp FETCH! Guide (the Guide). The Guide is meant for anyone who wants to lead hands-on science activities with six- to ten-year-olds: camp counselors, afterschool providers, teachers, librarians, museum staff, and others. WGBH hired Concord Evaluation Group (CEG) to conduct a test of the Guide, including three hands-on science activities in summer of 2011. We found evidence that kids who tried the Camp FETCH! activities demonstrated greater knowledge of science concepts (such as chemistry, gravity, and levers) than kids who did not try the activities. Most kids reported enjoying all of the activities and their favorite activities were Action Figure and Copper Cleanup. Counselors in both groups reported being comfortable leading science activities at the outset of the study and this did not change as a result of using the Guide. Although we did not observe a measureable impact of the Guide on counselors' comfort level in leading science activities, most counselors did report that the Guide was helpful to them in leading the activities. Eleven out of 14 (79%) treatment group counselors reported that they would recommend the activities to other camps. The appendix of this report includes survey instruments.