The Hunting of Treasure with Science Concepts: A Science Center Experience
Science educators have various ways of teaching and learning of science concepts. To promote effective and meaningful learning, we need to imply formal and informal learning from the early ages including preservice and inservice teachers. For this reason, this study aims to explore the effectiveness of science-cards (i.e., colorful cards that are designed to provide key concepts and questions about science and technology) and of meaningful writing as a teaching strategy on students’ understanding of science concepts in a science center. The sample used in this research contains 34 preservice teachers (21 female and 13 male) in Bolu, Turkey. During the research, when these preservice teachers visited two major science centers in Istanbul, they were instructed to collect information on concepts and questions written on science-cards. Following this visit, they were also asked to discuss and write a short essay about this information which they obtain during their visit. In order to measure to the extent which preservice teachers benefited from this learning activity, they completed a questionnaire that consists of 14 questions. Additional data were obtained through a semi-structure interview made for five students.
When students’ responses were evaluated, the result suggests that using science- cards and writing in informal learning environments such as science centers increase their motivations for learning science and technology. Furthermore, students indicate that learning applications with science-cards enhance their understanding of science concepts in a productive and enjoyable way such as hunting of treasure.
Keywords: Informal Learning, Science Center, Science Museum, Meaningful Learning
Assistant Professor, Department of Science Education, Abant Izzet Baysal University
Graduate Student, Department of Science Education, Abant Izzet Baysal University