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ERIC Number: EJ895425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
Exploring Middle School Girls' Ideas about Science at a Bilingual Marine Science Camp
Wheaton, Mele; Ash, Doris
Journal of Museum Education, v33 n2 p131-141 Sum 2008
Many informal science educational programs aim to help students improve their understanding of science. Little research, however, has focused specifically on the direct experiences and subsequent ideas of culturally and linguistically diverse girls when they engage with science in informal learning settings. The research described in this report explores young Latinas' ideas about science in the context of an informal bilingual summer science camp at an aquarium. We relied on identity theory for analyzing participation in camp activities as well as characterizations about science. This research report provides an analysis of two girls, Victoria and Lupe, (part of a larger data set of participants) who attended the camp for three consecutive summers and who took leadership roles in their third year. We produced case studies to offer a rich description of individual student experience. Such detail is difficult to capture in large-scale surveys or single aquarium visits. the comparative case study approach provides evidence that Victoria and Lupe, despite similar upbringing and schooling, had very different ideas about science. We also found that the bilingual teaching of science in the camp was very important to bridging the girls' lives in camp, school, and home. We offer suggestions for museum programming based on our findings. (Contains 22 notes.)
Left Coast Press, Inc. 1630 North Main Street #400, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Tel: 925-935-3380; Fax: 925-935-3380; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A