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This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 41 No. 1, p. 15-21
     
    Received: July 28, 2011


    * Corresponding author(s): j-lindner@tamu.edu
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doi:10.4195/jnrlse.2011.0021k

Graduate Student Fellowship Program Effects on Attitude and Interest toward Science of Middle School Students

  1. James R. Lindner *a,
  2. John Rayfielda,
  3. Gary Briersa and
  4. Larry Johnsonb
  1. a Dep. of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications, Texas A&M University, 2116 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845
    b Dep of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, 2116 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of a graduate student fellowship program on middle school students’ attitude toward science and their interest in science. Using a descriptive and correlational research design, data were collected from 588 middle school students (grades 6, 7, and 8). Participants completed a pretest and a posttest questionnaire on their attitude and interest in science. Findings showed that participants overall had a positive attitude toward and a positive interest in science; neither the attitude nor the interest changed from pretest to posttest. Within grade, attitude toward science fell slightly during 6th grade but rose slightly during 8th grade. There were no differences in pretest or posttest scores by gender. Prior research suggests that during middle school, students’ attitudes toward science and interest in science drop. An implication exists that the graduate student fellowship program had a positive influence on middle school students’ attitudes and interests in science by maintaining a high interest in science and a positive attitude toward science.

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