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GHS Evaluating a Student Science Project Program at Gladstone High School.

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Presentation on theme: "GHS Evaluating a Student Science Project Program at Gladstone High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 GHS Evaluating a Student Science Project Program at Gladstone High School

2 GHS Dale Ingram Gladstone High School 18800 Portland Avenue Gladstone, OR 97027 503-655-2544 ext 488

3 GHS In association with the LIGO Hanford Observatory PO Box 159 Richland, WA 99352 509-372-8106

4 GHS The relationship between GHS and LHO began in 1999. Gladstone received a two-year appointment with LIGO through the Scientist-Student Teacher program of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. With LIGO’s help, Gladstone developed a program that involves students in projects related to LIGO science.

5 GHS LIGO and Gladstone decided to continue their association when the SST program expired in 2001. LIGO offers Gladstone project ideas, ongoing mentoring and technical expertise and a highly relevant context for involving students in independent work.

6 GHS In which courses do students build independent projects?  Physics (long term, part time)  Science Independent Study (long term, full time)  Introduction to Technology (short term, full time)

7 GHS What are the types of student projects?  Data analysis using LHO and Internet data  Programming for specific data analysis tasks  Instrument building and data collection  Data acquisition systems, A-to-D electronics



10 GHS Our goals for students:  Understand science methods through authentic independent work  Apply science content to the solution of science & engineering problems  Improve skills in problem-solving, collaboration, technical writing, speaking and work management  Appreciate the role of science in society

11 GHS In the fall of 2003 Gladstone decided to examine the program’s impact on students in an attempt to improve the quality of our coursework. We will share the survey results with LIGO.

12 GHS Our method: Administer a five- question survey to as many present and past participants as possible. Surveys for graduates were transmitted through email.

13 GHS Our survey makes five statements that represent idealized positive responses from students in relation to the goals. Students are asked to rank their personal agreement with each statement on a 1 – 10 scale. Questions 3 – 5 were modified for the Intro to Tech surveys but the intent of the questions remained the same.

14 GHS I) Personal Interest “My individual project was interesting. I enjoyed working on the project and I felt motivated to put in a lot of time and to do a good job.”

15 GHS 1)I didn't find the project to be very interesting. I think my time would have been better spent doing regular schoolwork. 5) I enjoyed the project. It was boring and frustrating at times but overall it was a nice change from traditional work. 10) I really enjoyed the project. It gave me a chance to think and learn for myself. I enjoyed managing the work myself. I looked forward to spending time on the project. Response Guide

16 GHS II) Useful Skills “ I learned or improved one or more useful skills in my project. The project was valuable because I gained some practical benefit from it.”

17 GHS 1)I don't recall any practical value from my project or any particular skill that I gained or improved. I probably would have benefited just as much from regular coursework instead. 5) I remember that I learned some skills while doing the project that were meaningful at the time but these have not been of significant lasting value. The project was helpful because it let me learn more about working independently, but the other benefits were not that significant. 10) Some of the skills I learned and practiced on my project have become very important to me. The project environment helped me develop skills/knowledge more deeply than would have happened in a regular class environment. Response Guide

18 GHS III) Understanding of Science "I think the project gave me good insight into what science is really like. I came away from the experience with an understanding of what constitutes 'good' science -- initiative, creativity, perseverance, collaboration, problem-solving, clear communication and attention to detail."

19 GHS 1)I don't recall that the project changed my perspective of science or my ideas on how science is done. 5) I realized from the project that 'real' science is not like the ideas you get from science textbooks. I realized that it’s hard to prove what's 'right' in science. 10) I learned a lot about how science is done because I had the chance to do science myself. There wasn't a book or a teacher there who knew the answer and expected me to learn it -- I had to develop my own knowledge through the process of working on the project. Response Guide

20 GHS IV) Post High-School Work "I think that my experiences in my high school science courses, including the course in which I worked on my project, will be valuable to me in my years following high school."

21 GHS 1)My post-high school plans do not include science. My science experiences in high school are not very relevant to my future plans. 4) I probably won't do much with science after high school but I feel that my high school science experiences, including the project, have been valuable and worthwhile. 7) My post-high school experiences will include at least some science or engineering, but my high school science classes have not been of particular benefit to me. 10) I feel that my high school science courses and my independent project have been reasonably good preparation for my future schooling & work. Response Guide

22 GHS V)__Science in Society "My independent project helped me understand the roles of science and scientists more clearly. Learning about LIGO helped make professional science less mysterious to me. I feel that I can interpret science in our society more clearly because of my experiences in the project.”

23 GHS 1) For me there wasn't really a connection between my project and 'real-world' science. I don't feel that I understand science in our society any better from my project experiences. 5) Becoming more familiar with LIGO helped me view science in our society with more confidence, but it’s not an issue that I think about very much. 10) The independent project and my exposure to LIGO helped me understand science in our society more clearly. I'm not so intimidated by the highly technical aspects of modern science -- I understand that at its core, science is still very much about people, ideas and communication. Response Guide

24 GHS Potential Quality Control Issues:  Control (?)  Problematic questions  Limited or skewed response  Complicated questions and structure  Possible reluctance to assign low values

25 GHS Results

26 GHS Data from the Participants Physics: 21 returned; ~40 sent; ~100 eligible Ind. Study: 15 returned; ~30 sent, ~55 eligible Intro to Tech: 8 returned; 11 sent, 15 eligible Total Responses = 44 60 – 70 responses are a possibility as we continue locate participants








34 GHS Conclusions  The survey indicates generally positive outcomes in relation to our goals.  A surprisingly high percent of graduate respondents have pursued technical endeavors.  The responses from the Intro to Tech students were comparable to those of more advanced students, possibly suggesting that the project approach is effective for a variety of levels of ability and experience.

35 GHS Future Directions  Continue to incorporate the project approach into our science and technology coursework  More strongly emphasize the general skills (speaking, writing, collaboration) that all students will need  Seek more specific information from graduates about the quality and appropriateness of their high school science work

36 GHS Acknowledgements Gladstone High School’s project Program has benefited from the financial support of the Gladstone Education Foundation, the Moe Foundation and the Clackamas County Technical Education Consortium LIGO is operated by Caltech and MIT and is supported by the National Science Foundation (Cooperative Agreement PHY- 0107417)

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