Recent Accomplishments

VISTA's independent evaluators and researchers are continuously tracking the progress we've made in innovating science education across Virginia. Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments:

  • In our third year, VISTA has already made measurable impact within Virginia schools. According to a November 2013 independent evaluator report, teachers’ confidence in inquiry-based instruction and in implementing problem-based learning, as well as their instruction on the nature of science, rose significantly. The report also revealed that VISTA elementary teachers have markedly increased their confidence in their use of technology to support science learning, particularly in engineering.
  • Student achievement results from VISTA’s Year One cohort confirm that economically disadvantaged students of elementary school teachers who participated in VISTA professional development scored a statistically significant 14-points higher on the state science achievement test than students whose teachers did not receive VISTA professional development.
  • A November 2013 independent evaluator report noted that VISTA’s elementary school teachers “found VISTA to be more comprehensive, in-depth...more applied and hands-on, and qualitatively superior when compared with other professional development experiences.”