Equitable Science Curriculum for Integrating Arts in Public Education (ESCAPE) 

Investigator: Brad Hughes

Co-Investigators: Penelope Collins, Philip Collins (Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy), Michelle Rodriguez (Chief Academic Officer, Educational Services), and Christine Olmstead (OCDE)

Funding: National Science Foundation (NSF) Math Science Partnership

Project Objective: Use innovative arts-based strategies to help English Language Learners in grades 3-5 develop the academic language to understand scientific concepts

Project Description

The project will engage University of California STEM faculty (with support from UC Irvine's Cal Teach Math and Science preservice teacher development program); teachers and administrators from the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and six high-need Southern California school districts; WestEd educational consultants, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

Over four years, each of 150 teachers will receive 220 hours of team-based professional development in using science kits and illustrating science concepts through the arts. Over the project's five years, the 150 teachers will teach ~21,000 students, and ~180 Cal Teach preservice teachers will be trained.

Project goals are to increase (a) teacher content and pedagogical knowledge in Earth, Physical, and Life Science; (b) integration of arts to boost ELL learning; and (c) student achievement on science and language development tests. 

Planned for national distribution at the end of the project are an ELL-accessible curriculum for Earth, Physical, and Life Science in grades 3-5; a video-based online system for training teachers (providing a university Certificate in Teaching Science through the Arts); and a research-tested model for improving teacher and student achievement.