April 18, 2014
Okaloosa County, FL, sees great gains with Pitsco Education Missions science labsAn average 14% increase on DEA science scores. Nothing but praise from pleased teachers and administrators. Students learning to love science at an early age. These are the hallmark of a great elementary science program. And the Okaloosa County, FL, school district is good with great. With Pitsco Education Missions science labs at five of their elementary schools, Okaloosa County’s young students are poised to grasp the STEM opportunities in their near future. “They’re embracing science at a young age,” said District Career and Technical Education Director Patti Bonezzi. “They’ve already learned they love it. . . .” And that love of science has translated into educational gains. Since the Missions labs have been implemented, thanks to a Department of Defense Education Activity grant, Okaloosa’s military students have increased their Discovery Education Assessment science scores an average of 14%. That’s quite a bit more than the original goal of two percent! Science Coach Sandy Palmer credits Pitsco’s Missions for the improvement. “I think it’s the program. It’s set up really well. There’s reading every day and there’s science content.” But it’s always more than just “the program.” As one DEA evaluator stated, “[The] Okaloosa County School District has highly qualified science coaches, teachers, and administrators that are making the program a model for the nation. . . .” Indeed. A good program only becomes great when combined with the efforts of such hard-working, dedicated educators. Related Links Read more about Okaloosa’s success. Visit www.pitsco.com/Network to read the latest issue of The Pitsco Network magazine.