As I have been developing this program and its pilot, deciding what measures I would use to assess our success was a topic of much rumination. What do I really want? How will I know if I’m successful? These were questions I asked myself thousands of times. (And continue to ask myself everyday.)
It is The Schooba Academy’s mission to foster a sustained engagement in science for students from low-income communities through the learning of scuba diving. That being said, what I would like to see most is that our students choose to spend their free time pursuing science learning. This could mean that they choose to read National Geographic instead of playing video games, or watch the Discovery Channel instead of MTV, or attend a science tutoring session after school instead of going home and being bored (50% of American students say they are “bored and have nothing to do” when they are out of school, Public Agenda, 2004.)
One of the main measures of our success will be in our attendance, which is completely voluntary. At the start of the pilot, my goal was for 75% of the Schoobents to have at least a 75% attendance at our activities. After the second week, the results are pleasantly surprising. Not only are the Schoobents showing up, but they’re bringing their friends!! Check out the Wednesday tutoring class at 233% attendance!