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ERIC Number: EJ825044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Asking Scientists: A Decade of Questions Analyzed by Age, Gender, and Country
Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet; Sethi, Ricky J.; Bry, Lynn; Yarden, Anat
Science Education, v93 n1 p131-160 Jan 2009
Nearly 79,000 questions sent to an Internet-based Ask-A-Scientist site during the last decade were analyzed according to the surfer's age, gender, country of origin, and the year the question was sent. The sample demonstrated a surprising dominance of female contributions among K-12 students (although this dominance did not carry over to the full sample), where offline situations are commonly characterized by males' greater interest in science. This female enthusiasm was observed in different countries, and had no correlation to the level of gender equity in those countries. This suggests that the Internet as a free-choice science-learning environment plays a potentially empowering and democratic role that is especially relevant to populations that are traditionally deprived of equal opportunities in learning formal science. However, worldwide, girls' interest in submitting questions to scientists dropped as they grew older relative to the boys' interest, and the stereotypically gendered science interests persisted in this environment as well. The strengths and limitations of using free-choice Web-based data sources for studying youth interest in science are discussed. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures and 16 footnotes.)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Intermediate Grades; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A