Jessica K. Anderson
Effects of Questioning Strategies on Students’ Inquiry Skills during a Physics Research Project
To improve inquiry skills of physics students, 14 students utilized teacher-modeled and student implemented questioning strategies during a physics research project. Strategies included elaborative interrogation, introduction of effective questioning, question brainstorming and discussion, and peer and self-assessments. Students applied the strategies during their individual/partner inquiry investigations. The results suggest that teaching students questioning strategies improves students’ inquiry skills and understanding of how science works.
Tanya M. Anderson
Science Notebooks: A Tool to Promote 4th Graders’ Understanding of Process Skills and Content
Many students lack the skills for academic success and ability to communicate and understand scientific content. In this study, science notebooks were implemented to examine the impact on students’ understanding of the science concepts and process skills, especially observation and communication. The data indicated that science notebooks and the inquiry process did positively impact students’ ideas, process skills and the development of scientific literacy.
Prove It! Testing a Teaching Strategy to Develop Argumentation Skills in 9th Grade Science Students
Students explain their understanding of scientific concepts through argumentation. This study evaluated the improvement of argumentation skills using principles as stated by Toulmin. The study used a peer-critique activity called Prove It! Data was collected using artifacts collected from students including formative and summative assessments, interviews and surveys. Results indicate that students improved both their depth of curricular knowledge and sophistication of arguments in the description of curriculum topics.
Donald James Asbury
Integrating Science and Technology
Computer lab lessons were integrated with a current and relevant science topic and the resulting content knowledge understanding and attitudes towards science learning were gauged. Lessons focused on two types of alternative energy: wind energy and algae biofuel. Student interviews, unit pretests and posttests, journals entries, and attitude surveys were used to monitor student learning.
Improving Vocabulary Instruction to Increase Student Comprehension and Improve Science Literacy
The purpose of my project was to determine if better vocabulary instruction could increase student comprehension and science literacy. Throughout the treatment the students spent more class time working with the terms for the unit. This included activities that encouraged analysis of word meaning and comparison and analysis of relationships between words. The results indicated that targeting meaningful vocabulary instruction resulted in gains in test scores, writing and speaking skills and student confidence.
What Are the Effects of Computer Simulations on Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Newtonian Mechanics?
Computer simulations provide interactive environments that promote conceptual change in physics education. It is through the implementation of a series of guided inquiry-based activities that these simulations will be evaluated for their effectiveness in improving conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. Results indicated that not only did the simulations enhance conceptual understanding but also have a positive effect on student achievement and attitudes towards physics.
Metacognition: The Effects of Cognitive Strategy Instruction on the Problem-Solving Skills of High School Algebra 2 Students
This study investigated the effects of cognitive strategy instruction on the problem-solving skills of Algebra 2 students. Various data collection instruments were used to determine the effects on students’ cognitive achievement, long-term memory, motivation and attitude along with the motivation and attitude of the teacher. The study found an increase in students’ achievement and long-term memory. The study also yielded mixed results for the attitude and motivation of both the students and teacher.
The Social Outcomes of Whole Class Inquiry on Students in a High School Biology Classroom
An inquiry-based curriculum called whole class inquiry (WCI) was used to improve biology students’ scientific process and social skills. The study found students improved their social skills while simultaneously learning the content. Students at different ability levels were also assessed. Results varied between classes due to differences in students’ prior experience with WCI and ability level. Low-achieving students struggled more with social activities compared to their higher achieving peers.
What Does Creating a Science Portfolio Show Students about Their Learning?
This study examines the effects of creating an assessment portfolio on student achievement and compares alternative assessment strategies to traditional assessment strategies. During the study students reflected on assessments that they completed and created a portfolio to show what and how they learned. This led students to realize their areas of strength and weakness and fostered a desire to grow as a student.
After fielding the question “Why do I have to learn this?” countless times, I decided to show my students exactly how the content I teach was important to them. Instead of taking a linear textbook approach to instruction, I presented my chemistry students with a web of science, environmental, and social content derived from a realistic environmental scenario to evaluate how their attitudes and confidence in chemistry changed.
Jodi L. Brokaw
Picture It: Visual-Spatial Teaching to Improve Science Learning
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether integrating a visual-spatial teaching approach would improve student test scores in the classroom and if students would retain the new content. Visual-spatial activities were incorporated into the lessons on a daily basis to support the learning of concepts and vocabulary. Assessments and student interviews were used to determine whether this style of learning was effective in the classroom.
Robin A. Cameron
Homework That Helps: Identifying Aspects of Meaningful Biology Homework Assignments
Homework assignments were evaluated to see which types of assignments improved concept retention and increased the interest of diverse learners in introductory biology classes. The assignments were differentiated, and the benefits were evaluated using several instruments. Students communicated that homework assignments were a valuable extension of classroom learning. They appreciated different types of homework assignments for varied reasons, including assignments they did not label as fun.
Lorilyn A. Chapman
Active Learning of Scale and Proportional Reasoning: A STEM Approach
Lessons from interactive and online simulations were used to determine if “STEM” principles would develop a deeper understanding of scaling and proportional reasoning. Additionally, the study looked for changes in self confidence in problem solving along with comfort levels using simulations. Conclusions drawn from this study increase our understanding of the level of motivation and achievement that can result from “bridging” the curriculum through the use of interactive online simulations.
The Effects of Student and Scientist Partnerships on Students’ Understanding of the Nature of Science
This study measured the impacts of Student Scientist Partnerships (SSPs) on students’ understanding of the nature of science (NOS). Students participated in three research projects with three different scientists over the course of one semester. This study found that SSPs improved understanding of the NOS for higher achieving students, but slightly decreased understanding of the NOS for lower achieving students.
The Use of Explicit Instructional Techniques to Improve Student Literacy in the Science Classroom
A number of literacy strategies were used in a science context to see if improvement occurred in the students’ development of reading skills, comprehension of scientific text and vocabulary. The activities included reading techniques, discussion strategies and vocabulary activities. Results showed that after using these strategies, students’ use of scientific vocabulary increased, their comprehension of the textbook improved and their test results reflected this improvement.
Effects of Web 2.0 Technology on Student Learning in Science
How the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies for research project completion affects learning in middle school science students. Seventh grade students were required to use Web 2.0 programs for collaboration during data collection, interpretation, and presentation of researched material. The programs have a positive effect on student engagement and research skills. Students put more effort into their work and are producing increasingly better quality research projects.
Natasha L. Cleveland
The Efficacy of Using VoiceThread as a Formative Assessment Tool and a Way to Foster a Greater Sense of Online Course Community in a Hybrid Geoscience Course
VoiceThread replaced traditional lecture notes and discussion forums in the online component of a hybrid geoscience course. This technology facilitated a greater sense of course community and instructor presence, which increased student engagement and learning. The ability to make comments using various text and audio capabilities improved participant interactions. VoiceThread conversations enabled me to have a clearer understanding of student learning, which I used to plan modifications in learning strategies.
The investigation involved implementing the 5E Instructional Model to determine its impact on student achievement and attitude in science. The effectiveness of the treatment in the science classroom was not conclusively supported by data. The results indicated that the treatment had a slightly positive impact on achievement and an insignificant impact on science attitude.
The Impact of Rubric Use and Lab Report Performance on High School Biology Students
A rubric was used as a grading tool to evaluate student performance on lab reports. Three treatments were implemented. The rubric was used as a reference only, to critique sample lab reports, and for peer editing purposes all prior to writing lab reports. The research indicated that rubric use had a positive impact on lab report performance.
Throughout the treatment period of this project a variety of communication technologies including text messages, e-mails, school homework pages, and class websites were used to distribute information to students and parents. Students were also exposed to various technologies during class time to examine their engagement and learning and were provided with online test preparation materials. Results show higher test score averages, increased parent engagement and decreased negative behaviors during treatment.
Chemistry content was taught in-context using real world examples to determine the effects on learning and attitudes toward chemistry. Participants included four high school students in an advanced chemistry course. The treatment included three in-context units: gasoline, biofuels, and plastics. Learning was assessed using knowledge probes, focused listing, and learning logs. Attitudes were assessed using surveys, interviews, and teacher observations. Results indicated that student learning and attitudes were positively impacted.
An inquiry-based evolution unit that was scientifically rigorous but sensitive to students’ religious beliefs was conducted in three 11th-grade classes in a Christian College Preparatory school. The unit used a wide variety of activities to engage students through five enduring understandings. Student knowledge of and attitude toward evolution were assessed before, during, and after the unit. Increased literacy and acceptance of evolution was noted in all classes.
Many of my students were unmotivated, took little pride in their work, failed to see the broad picture of the content and exhibited a lack of organization in their work. Science notebooks, utilizing a blended traditional and inquiry based format, were used to improve achievement. Additional strategies were used to improve students’ attitudes. Results of the project show that the strategies implemented were effective at increasing achievement and improving attitudes.
I differentiated instruction in four sixth grade science classes by tiering three lessons during one unit of study. I examined how this affected student attitudes, engagement and achievement and how it impacted me and my teaching. Results indicate that this method of instruction did not improve student attitudes, achievement or engagement. However, data indicates that students who were properly challenged had a better attitude about science class.
Leah M. Knickerbocker
Enhancing the Development of ‘Sense of Place’ Using Reflective Field Journal Techniques during a Traveling School Semester
This action research explored the effects of place-based education and sense of place in a natural science class at The Traveling School. The project examined incorporation of reflective practices to enhance students’ learning and development of sense of place. Reflective practices were developed through formative assessment techniques and the use of a science field journal. This study occurred during a study abroad semester in southwestern Africa.
Karyn Ann Kretschmer
The Effects of Incorporating Technology into the 7th Grade Science Classroom
This study incorporated the use of 21st century technology tools, including but not limited to student laptops, desktops, iPad applications, Smartboard lessons, personal devices such as Smartphones or iPods with internet access, photography, video clips and animations, interactive web applications and accompanying software, and other available electronic resources to improve independent thinking and learning, develop a greater mastery of science objectives, and increase student independence and appreciation for scientific studies.
Increasing Interest in Science and Science Careers through Partnerships with Science Professionals
Increasing Student Interest and Achievement in Science by Integrating Science and Reading in the Elementary Grades
The purpose of this study was to incorporate the instruction of science in the context of language arts. Students experienced science instructions as they read, listened to and interpreted language. The students received greater instruction in science, enhanced their language arts skills, and indicated they enjoyed science more than pre-treatment. Data revealed that elementary students can become knowledgeable contributors to society when taught how to read and interpret expository text.
Evaluating the Impact of an Informal Elementary School Field Science Education Program
Outdoor environmental education programs are gaining popularity as a powerful complement to classroom science curriculum. This study sought to develop an evaluation protocol to meet the needs of both a non-profit environmental education program and its elementary school partner teachers, and to evaluate the program’s effect on third grade students’ knowledge of and attitudes towards science. The data showed that students’ knowledge of science topics (especially geology, ornithology, and invertebrate biology) increased after completion of the program. Students’ attitudes towards science were more positive post-program, especially students’ perception of the difficulty of science.
Candice M. Lommen
For many years I have brought my students outside to conduct field studies in our school forest, but have been disappointed in the quality of their observations and data. To investigate another approach to data collection, I incorporated digital photography into the field study activities. My study findings indicate that digital photography did increase the amount of written observations, but only slightly improved the overall quality of data.
Hilary R. Lozar
Including Parents in Classroom Science Nights
The purpose of this study was to increase the perceived value of school at home by inviting parents to attend small classroom science nights. This would establish a more informal classroom environment, assisting parents in feeling more comfortable in the school in a general sense. The goals were to encourage parents to talk freely with the teacher, increase parental involvement, and break down stereotypes on both parents’ and teachers’ parts.
Guided Inquiry Using the 5E Instructional Model with High School Physics
The purpose of this project was to determine the effectiveness of using an inquiry teaching strategy on student understanding of physics concepts, student motivation, and student engagement. Data were collected through written conceptual assessments, student interviews, observations, and surveys. Results indicate that student gains in understanding were similar between the traditional and 5E units. When inquiry was used, student motivation decreased slightly and student engagement increased.
Jill D. Mahoney
The Effect of Instruction of Visual/Spatial Thinking Skills on Learning Physics Concepts
Students with weak visual/spatial thinking skills often perform poorly in mathematics and science. The high school juniors I teach who had low scores on a test of visual/spatial ability also had low scores on their physics assessments. The treatment in this action research project was to provide instruction in visual/spatial thinking by using a tangible object (in particular cardboard vectors) that the student could manipulate at first, and then guide the students to use their “mind’s eye” to manipulate the images without the manipulatives. A large majority of the students have shown significant improvement in both their visual/spatial skills and their understanding of basic physics.
Sibley A. Malee-Ligas
Effects of Using Formative Assessments to Increase Achievement in Second Grade Science
In this investigation formative assessments were implemented with the purposes of improving student conceptual understanding in science and instructional practices to inform teaching decisions and planning. Students showed improvement following the execution of formative assessment techniques. Students also demonstrated and expressed more positive attitudes toward science. Instructional practices which informed teaching decisions increased in frequency.
Increasing Science Students’ Achievements through the Implementation of the Student in Good Standing Program
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Student in Good Standing Program (SGSP) and the use of positive incentives as an effective School Wide Improvement Program. The SGSP is a comprehensive school wide approach to motivate students in hopes that they will improve their academic standing and science education, decrease absenteeism, and reduce behavior issues in our school. The results indicated that the program was not effective.
The Effect of the Flipped Classroom on Stress and Achievement in an International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Societies Class
The intense study of the International Baccalaureate program often leaves students stressed over the amount and level of work required. By recording video lectures for students to watch at home, allowing students to work on traditional homework assignments in class with teacher assistance, and select appropriate assignments, students were able to achieve higher marks than previous semesters and reduce their stress level compared with other courses.
Effects of Using the Concept Attainment Model with Inductive Reasoning with High School Biology Students
The purpose of this project was to study the effects of allowing students to form their own definition of a concept. Students examined positive and negative examples of the topic and used critical thinking and metacognitive skills to understand concepts. A variety of data collection tools were used and the results indicated that students’ understandings, thinking skills, motivations, and attitudes improved.
Colleen Marie McDaniel
Effects of Problem-Based Learning on Student Understanding of Advanced Placement® Environmental Science Topics
The goal of this project was to determine the effects of using investigations and analysis of problems to find solutions on understanding of concepts. A variety of data collection tools were used to measure students’ attitudes, study strategies, and metacognition along with my attitude to teaching. Results were mixed showing improved understanding in one of the two problem-based learning units and no change with attitude for both the students and myself.
Hybrid Learning: A Study of the Impacts Felt by Students and Veteran Teacher Alike During the Completion of a Hybrid Online Module Rich in 21st Century Skills
An Investigation into the Effects of College Research Shadowing on the Perceptions of High School Science Students
This study focused on the implementation of shadowing college researchers as a method for changing students' perspectives toward science and their post-secondary decisions. There was no indication these activities affected post-secondary choices. Interviews indicated these activities created excitement in the sciences, and positive discussion among students and family. There was strong evidence of support for more opportunities afield especially that involving high school/college interaction.
Evaluating Different Levels of Inquiry in the Science Classroom
The Purpose of this project is to evaluate six lessons that are at different levels of inquiry, in an attempt to find which level of inquiry is most effective for teaching seventh grade life science. Inquiry based lessons allow students to seek out and find the answers to questions, but how much investigating can they do on their own without teacher support. Through-out the study, lessons were developed that varied in the amount of teacher support. The lessons were then evaluated to note differences in, behavior, quality of work, and attitude. The student’s behavior changed with their comfort level in the lessons and their interest. Their quality of work and their ability to complete assignments increased when the student had greater teacher support. During the study the student’s interest in working in science actually decreased, mostly due to the fact that the work was perceived as too difficult. It was noted that through-out the study the students felt they were doing more inquiry than planned, this was consistent in each lesson.
Susannah Spradlin Murphy
The Impact of Family and School Communication on Student Performance and Attitudes in Science
How much difference can communication make? To encourage academic success and positive attitudes about science, I established a structured and supportive system of communication between my students’ families and our school. Beginning with August home visits and continuing through the year, a culture of communication was created. This focus on connecting between home and school made a positive impact on my students’ attitudes and academic performance in science.
Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Model to Encourage Students to Become Active Learners in Mathematics
This project focuses on the beliefs of positive psychology and Appreciative Inquiry as a model to encourage students to become self-motivated lifelong learners. Students were given the opportunity to reflect on their personal strengths and learn ways to excel in their educational careers by using their strengths in their daily lives. Classroom activities focused on positive results and remarks instead of on the negative and poor choices that were made.
Bridges to Science: Effects of a Science Outreach Program on High School Students’ Understanding of Science Concepts
This study investigated the effects of hands-on science lab activities implemented by graduate students on grade 11 students’ level of understanding of science concepts, ideas regarding career options, and motivation. The effects on classroom teachers’ professionalism, volunteers’ pedagogy, and the researchers’ involvement with the program were also investigated. Data were collected using a variety of instruments and the results indicated the program had positive effects on most areas of the study.
Margaret Louise (Peggy) O’Sullivan
Effects of Inquiry Based Laboratory Experiments on Students’ Comprehension of Biological Principles in a University Level Biology Course
This study investigated the effects of implementing inquiry based experimentation in the laboratory portion of a first year university level general biology course. Students designed and performed their own experiments. Data indicated that students acquired more comprehensive knowledge of the biological principles studied when they engaged in their own learning using inquiry based learning methods rather than using traditional non-inquiry based methods.
How can understanding science vocabulary help students understand science content better? Can more exposure to science vocabulary increase students’ knowledge of science topics? These are the questions that I addressed in my capstone. During the treatment, students used different strategies to help them understand their science vocabulary. They worked throughout the two units using these ways to better understand science.
Students were given instruction in different learning styles and strategies for use in and out of the classroom. Learning logs during reading, concept maps to assess knowledge and regulatory checklists were used to determine if student learning improved. Students did not show a marked increase in use of these strategies after the treatment; however reading comprehension and attitudes toward science improved.
Science Notebooks: Improving Students’ Conceptual Understanding and Scientific Practices
The objective of this study was to determine if using science notebooks improved third grade students’ understandings of science content. Secondary considerations included whether or not science notebooks versus commercial worksheets impacted students’ scientific practices and communication skills. As a result of this study, it was concluded that student science notebooks did improve students’ conceptual understanding and scientific practices. Formative and summative assessments administered before and after treatment indicated quantifiable growth in conceptual understanding, scientific practices, as well as communication skills.
Backroads to Learning: The Use of Narratives in High School Biology
The ‘story’ of how science narratives influenced student interest and retention of concepts in high school biology. Does reading about quack doctors, circus sideshows and serial killers equate to higher exam performance or are these stories simply a detour on the road to real learning? To find out how this story ends you will have to attend this session.
Effect of Outdoor Education Methods and Strategies on Student Engagement in Science: A Descriptive Study
Keystone Science School (KSS) is a residential outdoor education facility set high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Data from more than 300 students, teachers, and through direct outdoor lesson observations was collected and analyzed to describe how KSS uses outdoor education methods and strategies to affect student engagement in science. The focus of this study was on how these techniques differ from typical learning experiences, and their value to fostering positive attitudes in science.
Joe M. Ruffatto
The Impact of Manipulative Models on Student Understanding of, Engagement in, and Confidence in Abstract Biological Processes
The purpose of this action research project was to investigate the efficacy of the use of hands on manipulative models in order to teach abstract biochemical processes. Students utilized enactive modeling of cellular respiration, protein synthesis and other processes in order to advance to symbolic understanding of these subjects. Results showed increases in student engagement in during these lessons and some improvement in student understanding of the topics.
Science Notebooks: Can They Replace Traditional Lab Reports?
Laboratory experiments have been used by educators for over two centuries. My project will measure the effectiveness of a typewritten lab report against a well-structured science notebook as an assessment tool. A series of laboratory experiments will be used to measure the usefulness of the two approaches. Surveys, quizzes, exit tickets and several interviews will be conducted and the results compared. The data from these sources will be analyzed and conclusions will be drawn.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the use of Promethean interactive boards for teaching and learning math in a 3rd grade classroom and its impact on students’ knowledge of and self-confidence in math. The project covered a six -month span and three different math units. Data collection consisted of standardized tests, muddy points, and self-confidence surveys.
Anne Farley Schoeffler
Using Training in Metacognitive Skills (Question Strategies) to Enhance Constructivist Science Learning
The study takes a constructivist approach, teaching students to identify and apply questioning techniques to new information. Student questions and answers were collected prior to and following the question intervention. Additionally, a comparison of summative assessments and confidence surveys was made. Evidence supported the claim that students could be taught to ask higher level questions and extend that skill to answer questions also. Summative scores and confidence increased as well.
Effects of Using Differentiated Math Instruction in a Mixed-Ability Fifth-Grade Classroom
This study focused on the effects of using differentiated instruction on students’ level of understanding of fifth grade math concepts and on student and teacher motivation and engagement. A variety of data collection tools were used and the results indicated that differentiated instruction increased students’ understanding and level of understanding of fifth-grade math concepts very much. Student and teacher motivation and engagement also increased.
Matthew J. Shargel
Effects of Guided and Unguided Instruction Using 1-to-1 Student iPads in 6th Grade Science
To examine some of the educational effects of iPads in the classroom, students in a 6th grade science class were tracked over four units. Two involved use of iPads, and two units employed traditional, paper-based activity. Instructional formats were also varied between guided, explicit and unguided, implicit forms. The results showed little educational difference with the proposed treatments. Student attitudes towards science declined slightly during units involving guided instruction.
Increasing the Effectiveness of Classroom Chemistry Demonstrations
This study determined the level of effectiveness of a demonstration when several factors of the traditional “show ‘em and tell ‘em” demonstration format are changed. The study showed an increase in demonstration effectiveness or student learning and retention when students were required to record observations and respond to prompts on a teacher-generated “Demo Sheet.” Additionally, the research indicated an increase in students learning when students are placed in a small peer group prior to instructor explanation in order to discuss observations and prior knowledge.
This investigation examines the effects of using the Unit Organizer Routine in an inclusion seventh grade science classroom. The study included 126 male and female students and spanned approximately three months. Results showed that the instructional tool may have contributed to improvements in understanding of content concepts, some facets of science self-efficacy, self-regulatory behaviors and academic performance.
Effects of Data-Driven Instruction and Goal Setting on Science Learning and Test Scores
Data-driven instruction and goal setting are by no means new to the field of education. This study examined how data-driven instruction combined with student goal setting affected test scores and student engagement as well as how it affected my teaching practices. Analysis of surveys, test scores, journals, and interviews indicate that while there was no significant improvement in student engagement in science, test scores did increase and students enjoyed the goal setting process and felt that it helped their learning.
Storytelling in the Science Classroom
Using Graphic Organizers to Develop and Build upon Prior Knowledge in Transitional Level Science Classes
This study was implemented in a transitional-level physics course for students who struggle with math and/or reading. Identifying and building upon prior knowledge is a major struggle for most students in the class. The study involved using two specific graphic organizers (the Six-Step Topical Guide and Four Corners and a Diamond organizer) to help students access, develop, and build upon their prior knowledge in reading, note-taking and problem solving.
This project sought to integrate science content with literacy instruction in a fourth grade classroom in Virginia. Students read science content books during small group guided reading instruction and visits to the classroom literacy centers. Evidence from student surveys and interviews as well as classroom and district assessments showed there was a positive impact on students’ knowledge of the science content and their interest in reading science content books.
Lisa Russell Stevens
Culturally Responsive Formative Assessment to Enhance Learning in Math and Science Instruction for Native American K-5 Students
Surveys, interviews, observations, and a checklist of formative assessment examples were given to a group of K-5 teachers to find baseline data on the different types and frequency of culturally responsive formative assessment in their classrooms. Each method of data collection focused on how cultural responsiveness is integrated into formative assessment to improve instruction for groups of children in a school with a high percentage of Native American students.
Reba K. Strom
This mixed methods study describes how student process skill development can simultaneously increase content knowledge of 2nd graders in a school serving a majority of Native American children. The Exploratorium inquiry model was used to teach primary students science content regarding life cycles, living and nonliving, and plant and animal features. Findings showed an increase in content knowledge of students and development of process skills, especially observation, questioning and communicating.
Melissa Anne Sullivan
Garden to Plate: The Effects of Garden-based Learning on Student Understanding and Environmental Engagement
In this investigation, student participation in the organic garden project was used to determine whether this activity encouraged student learning and environmental awareness. Students were given responsibility for all aspects of the garden program from choosing seeds to running the on-campus farmers’ market. Student interest in gardening and knowledge of sustainable agriculture practices increased over the course of the project. Connections to content from AP Environmental Science were also strengthened.
Effects of Digital Data Collection and Analysis on Understanding High Chemistry Concepts
The purpose of this project was to study the effects of using class activities and experiments that utilized various forms of digital data collection and analysis on understanding chemistry concepts. Multiple data collection instruments were used and the results indicated minor improvements in student understanding and student and teacher motivation. Student data analysis skills and conclusion making also showed improvements as a result of the project.
Brandy L. Thrasher
The Effects of Student Self-Assessment in Science
This investigation implemented various self-assessment practices and evaluated the effectiveness on student achievement, self-confidence and mastery of science concepts. The study included 30 eighth grade students with varying academic abilities. The treatment was implemented over the course of four physical science units spanning from November through February. Student attitudes were evaluated through the pre and post-treatment survey data from the Student Attitude Inventory and Course-Related Self-Confidence Survey.
Lizabeth A. Townsend
The purpose of this action research-based classroom project was to study the effects of laboratory-based activities on student attitudes toward science. Fifth grade students were taught science over a five month period using the regular science text and additional labs that were developed by the teacher or other professionals. Pre and post data were compared to determine whether or not student attitude toward science changed after that period.
Molly Russell Underwood
Assessing Assessment: The Impact of Formative Assessment Training on Science Teacher Classroom Methods
Formative assessment is a method for evaluating student needs and is unique from traditional summative assessment in implementation and outcome. To better understand how university coursework in formative assessment changes science teacher classroom practices, cohorts enrolled in the MSSE program participated in this study. A gradual increase in the use of formative assessment observed over time demonstrated that formal university training in these methods gives rise to new assessment practices.
Physics through Collaboration
This study entitled, “Physics through Collaboration” was conducted at Pender Harbour Secondary in British Columbia, Canada. Social connections between students and physicists on field trips, as well as between peers in the classroom, were made using interactive engagement (IE) techniques. Research showed IE to be an effective way to teach physics concepts, increase student enjoyment of learning and cultivate a greater sense of self-efficacy towards physics curriculum.
Tylene M. Walters
How Implementing a Daily Participation Grade in 5th Grade Science Affects Student Learning
How can student daily participation be increased in science class? To try to improve daily participation, I implemented daily participation rubrics for students and teacher through three treatment and three non-treatment cycles. Surveys and interviews were also completed by the students. The results from this action research show that student participation improved throughout the treatment cycles.
Nest Taphonomy of Poplar Island Common Terns and Caribbean Flamingos of the Smithsonian National Zoo
Some theropod dinosaur nesting localities suggest egg incubation in a manner similar to birds. Two modern avian ground nesting sites with different nest structure were studied as potential models. Eggshell concentration and orientation were examined in post-reproductive Common Tern and Caribbean Flamingo nests, along with nest density and distribution. Eggshell fragments were more abundant at nest centers; hatched and predated nests favored concave-up orientation, whereas actively trampled areas favored concave-down.
Increasing Student Understanding and Attitude in Science Using Place-based Education
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if using place-based educational strategies increased fifth grade students’ understanding and attitude while studying science topics. The nine week study included a variety of place-based educational approaches to teach students about ecosystems, biomes, and weather and climate. Data collected showed evidence that the use of place-based educational strategies does enhance students’ understanding and attitude.
Rachel M. White
The Impact of Note Taking Strategies in a Ninth Grade Earth Science Course
Note taking is part of life and learning, inside and outside of the classroom. High school students sometimes have difficulty taking notes during a lecture. This observation inspired this study of the impact of different note taking strategies on student achievement and engagement during short lectures. Self-generated notes, Partial (empty-outlines), and Guided notes were implemented. Most students preferred Guided notes and most performed best on formative assessments with Guided notes.
Wendy D. Whitmer
Introducing a Lab Component into an Astronomy 101 Lecture Course
This descriptive study follows the work of an Astronomy 101 Community College instructor during the transition of a lecture based course to a lecture/lab course. This paper discusses the process of transition, including a conceptual framework, establishing course goals, finding and implementing labs, and examining and analyzing student assessment data to measure the effectiveness of the labs. Instructional and pedagogical changes are also presented.
Rachel Lee Zupke
Attitudes toward Science: How Technology Impacts Student Engagement and Success
Information and communication technologies (ICT) were implemented with the purpose of improving student performance and increasing positive student attitudes toward the learning of science. Classroom activities, homework assignments, and alternative assessment forms were used in various ICT formats. Students demonstrated an increase in positive attitudes toward science through technology-based modalities but student academic performance was not affected by the use of ICT in instruction.