Title page for ETD etd-01272010-145525

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sutera, Catherine Angela
URN etd-01272010-145525
Title Investigating the Effectiveness of Informal Science Education through Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis: Ocean Commotion, a case study.
Degree Master of Natural Sciences (M.N.S.)
Department Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Walsh, Maud Maureen Committee Chair
Blanchard, Pamela Borne Committee Member
Condrey, Richard E Committee Member
  • K-8 science education
  • education survey
  • ocean literacy
Date of Defense 2009-12-16
Availability unrestricted
Informal science education serves as an important source for science education for both individuals and school groups. However, the effectiveness of school visits to informal science education events outside of either museums or science centers has received little investigation. This study explores the short-term effects of a hands-on learning experience on studentsí attitude and content knowledge. Specifically, it investigates the impact of Ocean Commotion, a one-day event where exhibitors present information and hands-on demonstrations about marine environments and products, especially those important to Louisiana. Pre-tests were utilized to document studentsí initial knowledge of and attitude toward wetlands and the ocean, as well as their attitude toward science in general. Following the event the same tests were administered again to capture any changes. The results showed that a one-day, hands-on event significantly increased student knowledge about and concern for marine environments, but did not have an impact on attitude toward science. This study demonstrates the value that transient learning events can provide and supports the development of similar events to promote not only ocean literacy, but also other topics as well.
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