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Theses Doctoral

Changes in Urban Youths' Attitude Towards Science and Perception of a Mobile Science Lab Experience

Fox, Jared

This dissertation examined changes in urban youth's attitude towards science as well as their perception of the informal science education setting and third space opportunity provided by the BioBus, a mobile science lab. Science education researchers have often suggested that informal science education settings provide one possible way to positively influence student attitude towards science and engage marginalized urban youth within the traditional science classroom (Banks et al., 2007; Hofstein & Rosenfeld, 1996; National Research Council, 2009; Schwarz & Stolow, 2006; Stocklmayer, Rennie, & Gilbert, 2010). However, until now, this possibility has not been explored within the setting of a mobile science lab nor examined using a theoretical framework intent on analyzing how affective outcomes may occur. The merits of this analytical stance were evaluated via observation, attitudinal survey, open-response questionnaire, and interview data collected before and after a mobile science lab experience from a combination of 239 students in Grades 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12 from four different schools within a major Northeastern metropolitan area. Findings from this study suggested that urban youth's attitude towards science changed both positively and negatively in statistically significant ways after a BioBus visit and that the experience itself was highly enjoyable. Furthermore, implications for how to construct a third space within the urban science classroom and the merits of utilizing the theoretical framework developed to analyze cultural tensions between urban youth and school science are discussed. Key Words: Attitude towards science, third space, mobile science lab, urban science education

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Emdin, Christopher
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 7, 2015
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