LOOP is a new multiplatform, environmental project designed to help young children, ages 6-8, explore ecosystems and understand the science and systems of the natural world. Built upon a curriculum that moves beyond the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), the goal is to help lay the foundation for a lifelong interest in the science of sustainability. Deliverables include: a 20-episode television series with animated stories and live-action segments which feature families and children; an online game to immerse players in the same ecosystems seen on television; Loop Live Missions (outdoor science activities); and an afterschool/camp curriculum designed to get children and families outside to explore natural systems. Promotion of LOOP's educational resources will be undertaken through a partner network including the U.S. Forest Service, Children & Nature Network, National Recreation and Park Association, American Camp Association, National Summer Learning Association, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
LOOP is produced by WGBH in Boston and intended for national distribution on PBS. The project design creates an "interactive learning loop" which cycles between the television series, the Website, and outdoor science activities. The intended impacts are to: (1) deliver educational media to the target audience that increases their understanding of science and sustainability issues; (2) model and teach science concepts and scientific habits of mind; and (3) connect children and their families to the natural world.
Concord Evaluation Group will be responsible for conducting formative and summative evaluation of the project. The summative evaluation is designed to measure project impacts with respect to change in behavior and attitudes, as well as science learning. The results of the evaluation will inform the curriculum for the current and future seasons of LOOP and contribute to the growing knowledge base of how media can effectively promote and teach substantive science to the young.