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Marlyn Mooney Capstone

My partner Darya and I have been working with the Benjamin Franklin Science Center helping them create three distinctive science fairs for kids of the age 8-18. The goal of each festivals and our partnership is to present science in a fun and engaging manner to students who are not fortunate enough to learn the material in school. We have been the background scene of creating these fairs and helping the engineers. We both have been working together to aid the engineers by communicating through google hangout and emails since the beginning of October.

During this project I have become an expert in international education, and how the sciences can truly affect the non affluent. After zooming in on Paraguay and their shorthanded educational system, we have realized the fortune we have in America. Also, we had to learn new scientific information very well so we could explain it to people who spoke a different language and answer questions as necessary. We were lucky enough to actually google hangout and participate in one of the fairs first hand, and answer any questions the kids had while doing the experiments. It was a surreal experience.

We have created a website that displays all the information about each fair and the foundation of our capstone. We have included videos from presentations we were in all over the world, examples of experiments we’ve sent, and an example process of one of our biggest hits, the trebuchet. Even though our capstone is done we will still be continuing our connections and outreach with Paraguay, and are fundraising money to hopefully travel there and continue scientific research.








​http://phillytoparaguay.weebly.com/



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1. Matthew VanKouwenberg
The most important source I can name is our mentor, Mr. Vk, who brought this 
project to us and has helped us tremendously along the way. Mr. VK is our number one source when it comes to communication with the engineers in Paraguay. He is cc’ed on all emails that are sent back and forth. He checks all work that is being sent over to the engineers before it is sent and always gives us his input. VK has also been a source for other sources that have come our way such as books and articles. 

2. Engineers at The Benjamin Franklin Science Corner
Claudia, our main contact in Paraguay, works with a group of five other 
engineers at the Benjamin Franklin Science Corner. The BFSC has developed a partnership with the Franklin Institute, which is how my partner and I became involved. The BFSC is one of the organizations featured in the science fairs being held around the country of Paraguay. All of our science experiment proposals have been sent to Claudia and the group of engineers, who build the actual models and test all experiments before taking them to the fairs. We have had many google hangouts to help with experiment testing in any way we can and make any changes to the procedures or materials if necessary. 

3. "Benjamin Franklin Science Corner ­ About ­ Google+." Benjamin Franklin Science Corner ­ About ­ Google+.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <https://plus.google.com/+BenjaminFranklinScienceCornerAsunci%C3%B3n/about?gl =us&hl=en>​ 
The Benjamin Franklin Science Corner is the organization we are in communication with in Paraguay. Their mission is to bring science and technology to students who are not fortunate enough to get the experience in school. Most students in Paraguay are only in school for four to five hours a day and have no hands on science curriculum whatsoever. The Science Corner supports Paraguayan education by promoting science and technology among the youth and by promoting scientific education. The Benjamin Franklin Science Corner website has a blog and many photos that have aided us in our capstone process. 

4. "Fun Cool Exciting Science Experiments for Children and Kids." Fun Cool Exciting Science Experiments for Children and Kids.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://weirdsciencekids.com/FunExperiments.html> 
This source provides information about science experiments that will be used in our proposals to the engineers in Paraguay. The science fairs were organized with the intention of giving students around the area, who don’t have a strong science curriculum in their schools, the opportunity to get hands on science experience. This source provides many experiments that are simple and entertaining for the younger kids at the fair. The oobleck experiment was one of the most successful ones, despite the fact that it was one of the simplest ones. This source has brought many ideas to our attention, whether we use the specific experiment or not. 

5. "Experimental Procedure." Experimental Procedure.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/physics600/procedure.html>​ 
This source was used to create the Trebuchet for the first science fair and will be used again to better the second version of the model. We used this source only as a template for our model. The units we use here are different than the ones used in Paraguay, therefore we had to convert all units to the metric system. After doing that we also had to scale the original trebuchet down because size was a factor for the engineers. Although there were other procedures for trebuchets that we looked at, this source was the most comprehensive and specific one we found. 

6. "Chemistry."ScienceFairProjects,Ideas,andExperiments.N.p.,n.d.Web.29Jan. 2015.<http://www.sciencefairadventure.com/Chemistry.aspx>​ 
This source was used for the ideas on Chemistry experiments. We had about four chemistry experiment proposals for the first fair. One was the shiny penny experiment which is always a classic for kids and very easy to show. The second, was also a simple one that involved the reaction between vinegar and baking soda. Another proposal was for an experiment that involved making slime, which is a great way to get students to do some very hands­on work in a fun way. The last one consisted of making saturated copper sulfate solution. The goal for many of these experiments was to create them using the most simple and attainable materials possible. 

7. "Physics Science Fair Project Ideas." Physics Science Fair Project Ideas.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science­fair­projects/Intro­Physics.shtml>​ 
This source was used for the ideas on Physics experiments. We had about four physics experiment proposals for the first fair. The first one was building a parachute and using different shapes for the parachute to see the difference it would make. The second involved watching the motion of a trash bag filled with air. Another experiment was a water bottle toss, involving a water bottle with a poked hole in the cap. This experiment was a test of gravity. The last experiment, and my personal favorite was building a gyroscope using a bicycle wheel. The goal for many of these experiments was to create them using the most simple and attainable materials possible. 

8. "Thinking about How to Evaluate Your Program? These Strategies Will Get You S t a r t e d . G a j d a , R e b e c c a & J e n n i f e r J e w i s s . " Th i n k i n g a b o u t H o w t o E v a l u a t e Y o u r Program? These Strategies Will Get You Started. Gajda, Rebecca & Jennifer Jewiss.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=9&n=8>​ 
Although our capstone is not necessary building a program, we decided that there should still be some type of evaluation to ensure our work was making progress. This source gives information on the most effective ways of evaluating a program and much more. The source includes a clear outline of the steps needed in order to evaluate the program, it’s progress, and it’s effectiveness. The source enforces the fact that having a specific audience is essential. Quantity and quality are both factors that are explained in depth. Assessing outcomes, achievements and indicators is very important in maintaining success in a program. 

9. "Designing a Survey." Designing a Survey.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science­fair­projects/project_ideas/Soc_survey.shtml>​ 
This source will come in handy when making the surveys for the next fair. I wasn’t expecting to have to research this, I thought I could just create one but then it dawned on me that I’d never made one. I didn’t know where to start so I decided why not look it up? Sure enough I found many credible sites, but I chose this one because it is specifically based on creating surveys revolving around science courses and curriculums, which is exactly what I will be evaluating. This source gives me ideas on what questions to ask, as well as objectives to keep in mind and templates to use. 

10. "The Popular Education News: What Is Popular Education?" The Popular Education News: What Is Popular Education?N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.popednews.org/newsletters/definitions.html>​ 
This source is valuable in learning how we want to connect with the students at the fair. Although, we won’t be there with them we want projects they see to be as meaningful as possible. Our goal is that students learn some science in a much more interactive way then they are used to. Popular education is a collective effort, one that engages students and allows them to work together and participate in the material. Popular education begins with learning the students’ ability and knowledge, which is what we want to learn through the surveys we will be giving at the next fair. 
0. "The Popular Education News: What Is Popular Education?" T​he Popular Education News: What Is Popular Education?​N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <h​ttp://www.popednews.org/newsletters/definitions.html>​ 
This source is valuable in learning how we want to connect with the students at the fair. Although, we won’t be there with them we want projects they see to be as meaningful as possible. Our goal is that students learn some science in a much more interactive way then they are used to. Popular education is a collective effort, one that engages students and allows them to work together and participate in the material. Popular education begins with learning the students’ ability and knowledge, which is what we want to learn through the surveys we will be giving at the next fair. 

http://paraguay.usembassy.gov/science­corner.html
This source provides me information about ​The Benjamin Franklin Science Corner. This is the program through which I will be communicating with my mentors in Paraguay in. It is a library and program center with the objectives of promoting science education in Paraguay and increasing mutual understanding between Paraguay and the United States of America. The Science Corner acts as a hub for scientific exchanges, school visits, scientific lectures, and a research center for scientific information in a variety of formats. This source ie very relevant in our capstone because if we have any questions or requirements to meet, this is the legal stuff and contacts we must go through them first.

https://www.teachforamerica.org/our­organization/special­initiatives/math­and­sci ence­education­initiative­stem
I selected this source to have good information about how teach for america incorporates Education and Science. We are really interested in creating the learning environment to be a very accessible, friendly, and understandable zone. Even though these science experiments are not highly challenging, they are hard for students in Paraguay who never have hands on learning. This site is about Math and Science Education, the things that are not usually that appealing to students. We are trying to find a way to make it look like fun, but have kids (and adults) really learn something amazing in the process.

 http://edupln.ning.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-make-learning-fun-for-kids
I found this source useful because it explains how to make learning for fun kids that don’t really have the opportunity to get the fun learning ways we have. There are not a lot of resources in Paraguay that I don’t really know about, that honestly they don’t really know about. This site is good with learning ideas about branching education with experiments. They talk about Technology to Teach, Learning is Doing, and Singing Stimulates. These are great ideas because we’re going to try to incorporate these into our science fairs to get more kids and adults interested in things that seem foreign to them.


 http://physics-animations.com/Physics/English/top10.htm
I found this source useful because this is a site of physics experiments. This is very important because obviously we need material to share with the engineer. Mr. Vk has given us many books, but the research part is crucial. All of our projects range from easy to difficult, we needed to find some more simplistic examples that really show physics. This site is good because it can help us improve the experiments we already did. Since this was research based upon how this kind of learning is more successful than others, these physics projects were the ones that we decided to use out of all of them (you’ll see more about the education part of it too).

.http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=6&sid=81102b65-aab8-4901- a5cd-86ae18032141%40sessionmgr115&hid=110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2 ZQ%3d%3d#db=mfm AN=85748138
I selected this source because, experiential education is a philosophy of education that describes the process that occurs between a teacher and student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content. This was research based upon how this kind of learning is more successful than others. Also, it states how both the student and the teacher (the people at the fair, and me and Darya) will learn from each other. This is an example of a school taking its class outside and having them experience hands on type of learning. This is really the philosophy of SLA as well, and we wanted to share that to Paraguay.

. "Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & More." Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & More
. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
This sounds dumb, but this source is probably the most important. After we research the experiments for the fairs, we had to find a way to make the product available. Claudia, our main contact in Paraguay told us that she uses amazon to get orders (but of course they are very limited with money). We have to find material that will work for the experiments but also are cheaper and scaled down to their availability. It’s so strange because even the most simplest things like glue, they don’t have so you have to find other resources.

 Educon
Darya and I presented what we have thus far at Educon and I’d like to use it as a source. A lot of science teachers brainstormed with us for the next part of our project. When we presented it was an incredible feeling to have shown what we already did. The feedback we got was from real life scientists or teachers and it really helped improve, not only our capstone but the way we are going to present it. We chose to do a website to show every incredible thing we’ve learned and blog about our journey along the way.

 http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4349338/communication-between-application s-written-in-different-languages
I found this source useful because it sort of teaches ways to communicate between two languages. Not only that, but cultures. We have had moments where we tried to express a situation or concern and both sides were just in states of confusion. This source shows us a blog that people brainstorm ideas about how to communicate between two different languages. It’s going to be helpful for the future for when we are making our surveys because we plan on continuing working through this program throughout college so when we can see how kids and adults liked and disliked we can make it even better.

. Google Hangout// Matthew Vk, Claudia & engineers in Paraguay
I’m using this source, because it is how we communicate. We have spent hours on this site. We’ve talked and laughed, and cried sometimes. Well we cried in person when we met. These two people have been the backbone of our capstone and give us all the information we need to make the fair successful. We are going to have coffee with Claudia soon to brainstorm in person before she leaves about what we can do to make the next fair even better. I think that the way this site has helped us has been tremendous because we can even use it on our phone. When I was in Boston, I was speaking to the engineer from Paraguay who goes to MIT getting ideas before the first fair.

. "Equipment the Science Laboratory." Equipment the Science Laboratory. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
This source is useful because it shows us some example of the Paraguayan school system and the science experiments they have been exposed to. We were asked to focus on Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The kids in Paraguay only have a few hours of school a week and we didn’t really know the level of intensity they were at. This is a broad spectrum of the works they’ve done. I think that this could be a little more helpful because we don’t really know the atmosphere they are learning it. We know that they’ve never had hands on, even the engineers. It’s crazy, 30 year olds haven’t done a simple oobleck project but they know all the memorized textbook material.