Design Strategies for Hands-On Activities to Increase Interest, Relevance, and Self-Efficacy in Chemistry

Date: 
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Resource Centers and Networks
Audience: 
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
Discipline: 
Chemistry
Organization:
Museum of Science, Boston, Science Museum of Minnesota
Description: 

Chemistry is a vital and highly relevant field of science that is under-represented in science centers and museums. Amidst concerns that the public is ambivalent about the chemistry field, the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry project sought to understand how to design hands-on activities that could increase the feelings of interest, relevance, and self-efficacy around chemistry. Using design-based research, the team tested and refined a variety of activities while simultaneously creating a framework for future use about content and format strategies that increase interest, relevance, and self-efficacy. Science museum visitors tested these activities and were interviewed afterward to learn whether or not they had experienced any changes in their attitudes toward chemistry and what about the activity contributed to these feelings. Data indicated that the types of content embedded in an activity influence increased feelings that chemistry is relevant and interesting, while the format used in an activity contributes to increased interest and self-efficacy around chemistry. The design framework created from these findings can be used by other chemistry educators to develop additional chemistry outreach activities that support increased interest, relevance, or self-efficacy in participants.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1612482
Funding Amount: 
$2,930,748.00
Citation
DOI:
10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00193
Publication Name: 
Journal of Chemical Education
Volume: 
98
Number: 
6
Page Number: 
1841–1851

Team Members

Elizabeth KollmannCo-Principal Investigator
Allison AndersonAllison AndersonEvaluator
Marta BeyerMarta BeyerEvaluator
Owen WeitzmanOwen WeitzmanEvaluator
Gretchen HauptEvaluator
picHever VelázquezEvaluator

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