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The Effectiveness of a Popular Science Promotion Program on Nanotechnology for Elementary School Students in I-Lan City
ARTICLE

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Research in Science & Technological Education Volume 33, Number 1, ISSN 0263-5143

Abstract

Background: Nanotechnology education has become an urgent priority to nurture skilled human resources for the rapidly developing nanotechnology-related industries. The promotion of popular science education focusing on nanotechnology is an ideal approach to bridge the gaps in formal curricula, and to stimulate curiosity about and interest in nanotechnology among schoolchildren. Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nanotechnology-based Popular Science Education Promotion and Teaching (NPSEPT) program through camp activity that was implemented in elementary schools in I-Lan City, Taiwan. Program description: To create a competitive advantage, a human resources development program was implemented as one of the nanotechnology incubation projects in Taiwan and focused on developing an appropriately-skilled professional workforce as well as promoting popular science education. Sample: The volunteer research participants were 323 sixth grade students in four elementary schools in I-Lan City, Taiwan, who were evaluated at the beginning and the end of the nanotechnology-based popular science promotion camp activity. Design and methods: A research tool called the "NPSEPT test" was designed specifically for this study and was approved by experts who evaluated its content and face validity. The questionnaire was divided into three aspects: "Nanophenomena in the natural world"; "Nanomaterials and their scaling effects"; and "Definition, characteristics, and applications of nanotechnology." The effectiveness of learning among the students was analyzed using descriptive statistics, a paired sample t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a post hoc comparison. Results: The results of the three-part "NPSEPT test" revealed that NPSEPT significantly advanced nanotechnology learning performance and outcomes among students in the four participating elementary schools. Of the 15 questions included in the NPSEPT test, positive change for more than 30% of students was achieved for eight questions related to nanotechnology concepts. Conclusions: Significant effectiveness of the NPSEPT program and nanotechnology learning outcomes of the elementary school students were observed. The NPSEPT program should therefore be considered an appropriate program to promote popular science with a focus on nanotechnology in elementary schools.

Citation

Lin, S.Y., Wu, M.T., Cho, Y.I. & Chen, H.H. (2015). The Effectiveness of a Popular Science Promotion Program on Nanotechnology for Elementary School Students in I-Lan City. Research in Science & Technological Education, 33(1), 22-37. Retrieved July 23, 2019 from .

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