ExMASS: A viable model for authentic student-scientist research partnerships

Shaner, Andrew and Watson, Sandy and Bakerman, Maya and Buxner, Sanlyn R. (2018) ExMASS: A viable model for authentic student-scientist research partnerships. Acta Astronautica, 152. ISSN 0094-5765

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Abstract

The Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) program provides students the opportunity to conduct authentic, student-led, open-inquiry research with assistance from their teacher and a scientist. One goal of the program is to enhance participants' attitudes toward science. Most students enter the ExMASS program with positive attitudes toward science. However, the attitude survey developed for ExMASS measured small but statistically significant increases in attitudes. This paper discusses the ExMASS program, an attitude towards science survey designed for the program's specific audience, and the results of statistical analyses of the survey. The validity of the attitudes survey was tested with an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The results of the EFA revealed two salient factors measured by the survey: 1) Personal Importance of Science and 2) Importance of Science to Society. A reliability analysis revealed a Cronbach alpha value of 0.89. Paired t-tests revealed statistically significant differences in students' attitudes before and after the program. For Factor 1, participants' before scores were statistically significantly lower than their post scores, t(88) = 3.16, p<0.05. For Factor 2, participants' before scores were statistically significantly lower than their post scores, t(88) = 4.47, p<0.05. ExMASS has been shown to be a practical model for programs designed to increase high school student attitudes toward science. More information on the ExMASS program is available at https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/education/hsResearch/.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 10:50
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 10:50
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/2217

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