Families

The Harvard Family Research Project, part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, conducts, promotes, and evaluates research on early childhood education, out-of-school programming, and family and community support in education. Substantial research supports the importance of family involvement in terms of positive results for children and their success in school. The Family Involvement section of this website contains links to publications, research, and research results, as well as an opportunity to join the Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) and receive the FINE semi-monthly newsletter.

This guide, “Science Can Take Her Places! Encouraging Your Daughter’s Interests in Science, Math and Technology,” from the Sally Ride Science project, provides practical tips and activities for encouraging girls’ continued interest in these subjects. Research shows that significant adults, especially parents, play a strong role in influencing positive attitudes.

The online science magazine, Science Daily, reports on the results of a study from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. One of the study’s findings indicated that fathers in particular have a major influence on whether their daughters develop an interest in math. It points out that fathers spend more time on math and science activities with their sons and buy them more math and science toys. The complete study can be downloaded above.

This eye-opening report is published by “Public Agenda,” an organization that researches public opinion on a variety of issues, including education, in order to give American leaders a better understanding of the public’s point of view and to educate citizens on public policy issues in order to make informed decisions. Public Agenda national research has shown that while employers and college professors are dissatisfied with high school graduates’ STEM skills, most families tend to express confidence that their schools are adequately preparing students in these subjects. This study was conducted to inform the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 10-year initiative to improve STEM education in the Kansas City region and consisted of parent, teacher, and student focus groups, random parent, middle and high school student surveys, and a series of interviews with local employers, leaders, and experts.

This list of engaging science projects is part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Precollege Science Education Program. Through this program, HHMI seeks to nurture children's interest in and knowledge of science through classroom, lab, and field activities, professional development for teachers, and outreach activities to parents and communities. The science projects offered on the website are designed for parents to use with their children as a way of making science fun, practical, and realistic. The site also gives parents suggestions on how to conduct the activities.

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