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    Creating an engaging science inquiry activity for middle school students that incorporates online remote access to analytical instrumentation

    Stewart, Nikki and Lidster, Susan and Anchikoski, Tory and Cinel, Bruno and Brewer, Sharon and REES, CAROL (2017) Creating an engaging science inquiry activity for middle school students that incorporates online remote access to analytical instrumentation. Alberta Journal of Science Education, 45 (1).

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    The decline in young peoples’ interest in science and technology education and the reduction in the proportion of students choosing to pursue careers in science and technology have been causing concern internationally for over a decade (OECD 2006). It is known that young people’s attitudes to science and technology are usually established early in life and that efforts to encourage interest and build awareness are best targeted toward middle school students (DeWitt, Archer and Osborne 2014; Riegle-Crumb, Moore and Ramos-Wada 2010). This context prompted three initiatives that came together to create the learning opportunity for middle school students evaluated in the pilot study described in this paper. In the context of their inquiry project, the Grade 8 class worked with science professionals to remotely use an instrument in the university chemistry lab to analyze river water samples for total nitrogen. A pilot study of the initiative that examined students’ responses to survey questions using the lens of productive disciplinary engagement (Engle and Conant 2002) indicated high levels of student engagement, specifically in the discipline of science, that were productive in advancing their learning of science and awareness of the actual practices that science professionals use. At the end of the paper, these findings are corroborated and expanded upon by the teacher in her reflections. Further work will look at how this productive disciplinary engagement develops, by analyzing video recordings of students, teachers and scientists interacting within this collaborative venture.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Creating; engaging; science; activity; middle school students; incorporates; online remote access; analytical instrumentation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 17354
    Depositing User: Carol Rees
    Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2023 10:41
    Journal or Publication Title: Alberta Journal of Science Education
    Publisher: Science Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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