Wadman, M., deProphetis Driscoll, W. & Kurzawa, E. (2009). Creating communicative scientists. A collaboration between a science center, college, and science industry. Journal of Museum Education, 34(4), 41–54.
In this paper, the authors describe the process and results of an innovative three-partner project that involved students, scientists, and ISE educators in developing resources for a young audience.
Van Eijck, M. & Roth, W.-M. (2009). Authentic science experiences as a vehicle to change students’ orientations toward science and scientific career choices: Learning from the path followed by Brad. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 611–638.
This study aims to answer two questions important to informal science learning: What is “authentic”? And, why do we want students to have authentic science learning experiences? Using ethnographic methods, the authors developed a case study over the course of one year of an Aboriginal student, Brad, who participated in a scientific internship program that included both nature conservation and laboratory work. This study analyzes how Brad’s cultural identity interacted, influenced, and hybridized with the scientific and other practices he participated in during his internship. The paper will be of interest to ISE educators exploring how program experiences interact with identity to encourage expanded participation in STEM.
Archer, L., DeWitt, J., Osborne, J., Dillon, J., Willis, B., Wong, B. (2010). “Doing” science versus “being” a scientist: Examining 10/11-year-old schoolchildren’s construction of science through the lens of identity. Science Education, 94(4), 617–639.
Research shows that between ages 10 and 14, children’s interest in science declines sharply. This study investigates 10- and 11-year-old children’s attitudes toward science and relates it to identity, finding that children show a preference for either school (“safe”) science or what they see as grown-up (“dangerous”) science.
Tran, N. A. (2011). The relationship between students’ connections to out-of-school experiences and factors associated with science learning. International Journal of Science Education, 33(12), 1625-1651.
How do students make connections between in-school and out-of school contexts? In this study involving the analysis of questionnaire responses of 1014 11th and 12th graders, the author found that out-of-school experiences are positively associated with the learning outcomes of science learning achievement, science interest, and self-efficacy. However, the analysis also showed that connections made by teachers to out-of-school experiences negatively correlated with student achievement.
Denner, J., Bean, S., & Martinez, J. (2009). The Girl Game Company: Engaging Latina girls in information technology. Afterschool Matters, 8, 26–35.
Although digital technology has become ubiquitous in our time, not everyone is afforded the same opportunities to pursue the fields of engineering, computer science, and advanced technology. This paper examines how an afterschool and summer program for middle school girls considered the roles of gender, culture, and youth development to increase the participation of Latinas in IT careers.
Cochran, G. R., & Ferrari, T. M. (2009). Preparing youth for the 21st century knowledge economy: Youth programs and workforce preparation. Afterschool Matters, 8, 11–25.
Successfully combining youth development with workforce preparation means creating opportunities for work-based learning, where youth are learning workplace skills through work rather than learning about a specific career path. This paper summarizes the ways in which workforce skills such as communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork can be cultivated through three types of program models: “value-added,” “growing your own,” and employer partnerships.
Baram-Tsabari, A. & Yarden, A. (2009). Identifying meta-clusters of student’s interest in science and their change with age. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(9), 999–1022.
If student interest in science is a predictor of careers in science, how can we characterize student interest across ages? Analyzing 6,000 questions from students gathered from informal science settings such as questions submitted to TV shows or Ask-a-Scientist websites, this study classifies student interest in science into six clusters. Younger students (K-9) showed interest in zoology, technology, and astrophysics while older students (10–12) showed interest in physics, chemistry, and biology. This shift of interest to science topics covered in school is relevant to informal science learning as informal spaces have the opportunity to provide advanced and supplementary experiences beyond science in school with the goal of expanding on established interests and also providing learners with opportunities to encounter other ideas and generate new interests.
Wong, B. (2012). Identifying with science: A case study of two 13-year-old “high achieving working class” British Asian girls. International Journal of Science Education, 34(1), 43–65.
This paper presents a case study of two currently high-achieving 13-year-old British Asian schoolgirls: One appears keen to pursue advanced science learning, whilst the other seems more likely to reject such a path. Wong’s discussion offers insight into how young people develop an identity with science—or not. His analysis adds to the literature on why students rapidly lose interest in science on reaching adolescence and secondary school.
Laubach, T. A., Crofford, G. D., & Marek, E. A. (2012). Exploring Native American students’ perceptions of scientists. International Journal of Science Education, 34(11), 1769–1794.
Some say that if we could dismantle negative stereotypes of scientists, minority students would be more likely to consider careers in STEM. But precisely what views do minority students hold? In this study, researchers examined the perceptions of 133 Native American students by analysing students’ drawings of scientists and their accompanying written explanations.