The effect of a high school science research trip experience on learning, motivation, and future pathways
Newman, Timothy Christopher
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Experiences in nature are often positive events. These important educational opportunities are frequently downplayed for a variety of reasons. Field research enhances high school students' passion for science and nature through real-life application, and a tangible connection with the natural world. This study investigated the effects that students experienced, both educationally and personally, after participating on a science research trip. Student learning and retention of main concepts as well as student motivation following a field research experience were explored. The impact on future academic studies, career, and life choices were also examined. Both current and former students were evaluated using assessments, surveys, interviews, and observations. The results indicated that these trips were beneficial. They enabled students to learn and retain important content while building confidence in their skills as scientists. Students learned to connect with and care for the environment. The investigation also revealed that trip experiences have positively impacted future life choices. Research trips are valuable experiences for both educational development and personal growth.