Integrating science and technology

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Date

2012

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School

Abstract

Science plays an important role in students' education, even when time is limited by restrictions from other subject areas such as reading and mathematics. In this study, students' computer classes were integrated with a current and relevant science topic (alternative energy resources) to gauge 1) whether students were able to better understand the content presented and 2) how their attitudes towards science were affected by the science instruction. Students completed nine lessons that focused on the use, benefits, and drawbacks of two types of alternative energy: wind energy and algae biofuel. Each lesson was integrated with technology-based activities to enhance student understanding. Student interviews, unit pretests and posttests, journals entries, and attitude surveys were used to monitor student learning and progress throughout the project. The data collection indicated that students came into the project with little science background knowledge and an average interest in science. As the study progressed, students developed a deeper understanding of alternative energy resources. Student attitudes towards the science learning process improved a small amount as well. At the conclusion of the study, all of the students had increased scores on the content tests and most students had small increases on the attitude measures.

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