Assessment for Effective Intervention: Enrichment Science Academic Program

Abstract

Israel suffers from a growing problem of socio-economic gaps between those who live in the center of the country and residents of outlying areas. As a result, there is a low level of accessibility to higher education among the peripheral population. The goal of the Sidney Warren Science Education Center for Youth at Tel-Hai College is to strengthen the potential of middle and high school students and encourage them to pursue higher education, with an emphasis on majoring in science and technology. This study investigated the implementation and evaluation of the enrichment science academic program, as an example of informal learning environment, with an emphasis on physics studies. About 500 students conducted feedback survey after participating in science activities in four domains: biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science. Results indicated high level of satisfaction among the students. No differences were found with respect to gender excluding in physics with a positive attitudes advantage among boys. In order to get a deeper understanding of this finding, about 70 additional students conducted special questionnaires, both 1 week before the physics enrichment day and at the end of that day. Questionnaires were intended to assess both their attitudes toward physics and their knowledge and conceptions of the physical concept “pressure.” We found that the activity moderately improved boys’ attitudes toward physics, but that girls displayed decreased interest in and lower self-efficacy toward physics. Research results were used to the improvement of the instructional design of the physics activity demonstrating internal evaluation process for effective intervention.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Mr. Omer Moussaffi for his assistance.

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Correspondence to Irit Sasson.

Appendix

Appendix

Question 1

Imagine you are drinking water using a straw. Please explain what causes the water to flow upwards in the straw.

Question 2

Two different vessels are filled with water. The water depth is equal in both vessels. Two small cubes are placed in the bottom of the vessels. On which cube the pressure is higher?

  1. a.

    On the cube in vessel A

  2. b.

    On the cube in vessel B

  3. c.

    The pressure is equal on both cubes

  4. d.

    On the cube in the vessel that has more water in it

Please explain your answer.

Question 3

A U-shaped glass tube is filled with water. Initially, the water level is the same in both sides. One side is closed with a cork. Water is added through the open side. Then we wait until the water is still. What will be the water level on both sides then?

  1. a.

    The water level will be the same in both sides

  2. b.

    The water level in the open side will be higher

  3. c.

    The water level in the closed side will be higher

  4. d.

    The water level in the closed side will remain as before. The water level in the open side will be higher

Please explain your answer.

Question 4

Heart beats cause the blood to flow inside our body. During heart beats, the heart contracts and then relaxes. When the heart contracts, will the blood flow into it or out of it? Please explain how the blood flow is connected to pressure.

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Sasson, I., Cohen, D. Assessment for Effective Intervention: Enrichment Science Academic Program. J Sci Educ Technol 22, 718–728 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-012-9425-5

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Keywords

  • Informal learning environment
  • Enrichment program
  • Assessment
  • Physics
  • Gender
  • Attitudes
  • Self-efficacy