University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Parents and Children Experiencing Science

PACES participants
A PACES event.

PACES is a program designed to promote science education in under-represented communities in a format where parents model learning for their children. This format will allow young children (1st through 7th grade) to see their own parent valuing an educational experience and finding that science is fun and exciting. The goal is to insure that the parent and child will view themselves as confident co-learners of science. Short courses (45-60 minutes) will be designed that will promote critical thinking for both the parent and the child in a non-threatening format. The emphasis would be on parents and children jointly making observations and generating questions. It is intended to be a format where parents would model the curiosity, focused involvement and enjoyment of learning.

The program will be mobile. All materials and teachers will go to the communities where parents and children can be brought together.

There are several long term goals of this program:

  • To help parents view them selves as an integral part of the learning experiences of their children.
  • To provide academic opportunities for young children and parents.
  • To help build stronger student attachment to schools and learning experiences.

Our program is focused on communities that are economically disadvantaged and exhibiting the greatest disparities in academic achievement among their students.

When possible, PACES events at community centers will be coordinated with Physics Force shows at a near-by school.

This project is funded by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Education and Public Outreach grant. If you are interested in having a PACES program for your school or group, please contact Nancy Bresnahan.