'Hands-On Science' Shutting Down
A nonprofit known for its popular after-school science program has announced plans to shut down later this year after 27 years in operation—a victim, at least in part, officials say, of the drive to tie extracurricular activities to improved test scores. Hands On Science Outreach Founder Phyllis Katz told The Washington Post that her "recreational science" offerings did help children learn, but because the program was informal, "we didn't test the children so we couldn't tell you at the end of an eight-week session, 'The kids learned X amount.' " At one point, Hands On Science served 40,000 children a year nationwide. That number is now down to 21,000, according to the Post. Katz said feels good about the program's legacy: "We've had a 27-year run, and we've impacted hundreds of thousands of kids and tens of thousands of adults. We had an impact."
For more on after-school science programs generally, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory offers a handy guide.