Assessment

NY Sun Works is conducting an extensive 3 phase assessment to measure the impact of the Greenhouse Project Classroom and its Program Implementation.

The 2016 NY Sun Works Curriculum and Science Achievement Report conducted by Kate Gardner Burt, PhD, RD (Teachers College, Columbia University) concludes that students who receive the NY Sun Works curriculum are more likely to score higher on the 4th grade science achievement test than students who do not receive the NY Sun Works curriculum.

Phase 1

The first phase of our assessment was completed October 2016. The study aimed to determine if elementary school students who receive the NY Sun Works curriculum perform better on the NY State Science Achievement test in 4th grade. Scores were obtained from all NYC 4th graders during 2014 and 2015 school years, and schools were compared to peer schools that are not NY Sun Works partners therefore they don’t have a Greenhouse Project Classroom nor they receive the NY Sun Works curriculum.

RESULTS: The 2016 NY Sun Works Curriculum and Science Achievement Report conducted by Kate Gardner Burt, PhD, RD concludes that students who receive the NY Sun Works curriculum are more likely to score higher on the 4th grade science achievement test than students who do not receive the NY Sun Works curriculum.

In addition, results of this study also indicates that the NY Sun Works program may not only meet core science requirements but also integrate climate change and sustainability education in a way that improves student’s understanding of science as a whole. Dr. Gardner Burt also states this may be an ideal model that meets the need to integrate climate change and sustainability into the school curriculum, as many States adopt the core curriculum and may be looking into this integration.

Phase 2

The second phase of NY Sun Works assessment focuses on curriculum impact using the Likert scale survey tools to measure knowledge and skills attainment as well as self-identified attitudes toward sustainability, and behavioral self-efficacy.

Pre and post questionnaires have been administered for the school years 2015 and 2016. The results will be finalized when achieving the proposed number of student participation by the Spring of 2017.

As an example, the following excerpt is from a focus group conversation regarding one of our middle school Modules We Are What You Eat as a response to the statement “I expect to use what I learn about the food system when I get out of school.”  “I agree, because if I am learning about growing crops, my mom and I are doing a garden in the backyard so I can take what I’m learning here. My mother wants me to learn as much as possible about growing food.” – 6th grade girl at PS 84

Phase 3

The third phase of NY Sun Works assessment focuses on program impact in the community, also using the Likert scale survey tool to measure students, teachers, and parents self-identified attitudes of program engagement.  The evaluation will aim to also identify response to the program based on gender and ethnicity.