How ScienceQuest Ensures Success for All

Judith Zorfass, Jennifer Dorsen, Caitlin Feeley


Informal educational programs that reach out to minority youth in low-income urban areas need to anticipate diversity. Not only will participants exhibit a range of abilities and needs, but some, just like in any population, are likely to have learning disabilities. ScienceQuest, an informal science education program funded by the National Science Foundation, was designed to ensure that youth aged 10 to 14 with diverse abilities and needs, including learning disabilities, can successfully participate and succeed in inquiry-based learning. The program uses the I-Search curriculum as the basis of its inquiry process. Embedded in this curriculum are the following inclusive practices: youth are motivated to explore their topic; they use varied media that supports their learning styles; they are guided to process information through multiple means; and they have access to technology tools. These ongoing inclusive practices ensure that everyone successfully explores the world around them.

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