Kids' Chemical Solutions

Capturing Early Eager Learners with Chemistry Comics

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What Can You Expect? Learning Outcomes Achieved from The M.C. Detective Agency Curriculum

Well, the first things you can expect is to laugh out loud, have fun, and enjoy the process of learning chemistry! We have witnessed this first-hand while working with various homeschool families and in 4th-grade classrooms. The children (and adults!) love it! OK, OK, OK, we also know you want to understand the results from our research studies with these different groups of students.

Our most quantitative data comes from our 10-week study in 4th grade classrooms. The students completed the curriculum from File 1: The Case of the Deadly Dials and File 2: The Case of the Missing (Atomic) Model. Dr. Kelley analyzed each student’s work:
  • Students were prompted to write freely in their Reading Guides about what they were learning on each page as they read the comic book.
  • Student’s Reading Guides were analyzed and coded in two categories: NGSS Standards and Chemistry Learning Outcomes.
  • These pages were analyzed and coded for evidence of mastery, comprehension, or developmental levels.
The chemistry learning outcomes were astounding! 95% of students displayed mastery of college-level concepts including those that are abstract (the Quantum Mechanical Model of an Atom) and quantitative (calculating atomic weights, protons, neutrons, and electrons).

Assessment of NGSS learning outcomes showed that 95% of students exhibited mastery/comprehension of components of scientific thinking and analysis, e.g., creation of a question, analysis of data/evidence, and extrapolation from a model.

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