Connect Science provides a lesson-based approach to SEL with academic integration with science. It includes a 4th Grade curriculum that can be adjusted to be appropriate for 3rd and 5th graders and demonstrated evidence of effectiveness at the 4th grade level.
Strategies supporting educational equity
Connect Science offers strategies for customizing for context and youth action projects. This includes strategies throughout teacher manuals for customizing lessons to speak to the needs of the local community. Additionally, the entire program is organized around student-driven service learning projects that address local community needs.
- SEL lessons
- Relationship building
- SEL generalization
- Shared agreements
- Student voice
- Community partnerships
- Onsite in-person training
- Virtual training
- Offsite training
- Train the trainer model
- Administrator support
- Technical assistance
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Online resource library
- Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
- Observational tools
- Tools for measuring student success
Evidence of effectiveness
Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) evaluation conducted in the 2017-2018 academic year (published in 2021) supported the effectiveness of the Connect Science for elementary students. This evaluation included 868 grade 4 students enrolled in schools in the US Southeast (Black = 37%, white = 34%, Hispanic = 24% ; 50% of the student body at participating schools was eligible for SNAP and or TANF benefits). This evaluation found that students receiving instruction using the Connect Science Program demonstrated significantly higher post-test science achievement and student-reported civic engagement, specifically energy attitudes and behaviors, than the students in the control group.
Evidence shown in grades4 School characteristics
- Black / African American
- Hispanic / Latinx
- Low income
Percentage Low Income
- Percentage of the student body at participating schools that were eligible for SNAP and/or TANF benefit: 50%
Study design type
Greater than 350 students included in study design type
Multiple school districts included at study design type
- Improved academic performance
- Reduced emotional distress
- Improved identity development and agency
- Reduced problem behaviors
- Improved school climate
- Improved school connectedness
- Improved social behaviors
- Improved teaching practices
- Improved other SEL skills and attitudes
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- Accepted by CASEL
Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Merritt, E. G., Lapan, C., DeCoster, J., Hunt, A., & Bowers, N. (2021). Can service-learning boost science achievement, civic engagement, and social skills? A randomized controlled trial of Connect Science. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 74, Article ID 101236.
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- Other references
Merritt, E., Harkins, T., & Rimm-Kaufman, S. (2021). Empowering Elementary Students through Environmental Service-Learning. Clearing, 8-11.
Rimm-Kaufman, S., & Merritt, E. (2019). Let’s Power Our Future. Science and Children, 57, 52-60.