Swim J.,Pennsylvania State University |
Fraser J.,New Knowledge Organization Ltd
Journal of Geoscience Education | Year: 2014
Educators at America’s Zoos and Aquariums have the potential to have extensive impact on the public’s knowledge about climate change. However, evidence suggests that educators at these institutions may not be taking full advantage of these opportunities. The present research suggests that about one-third to two-thirds of these educators would like to say more about climate change than they currently do. Anticipated audience responses to messaging were examined as a possible barrier. Results indicate that educators are not particularly concerned about those who doubt or deny climate change. Instead they are relatively more concerned about visitors’ disinterest in climate change. The results suggest that, in order to increase educators’ tendency to more fully say what they would like to say about climate change to visitors, it would be helpful to build educators’ confidence not only about visitors’ receptivity to climate change information but also their confidence in their ability to present climate change information. This includes confidence in their knowledge about how to strategically present climate change information, their ability to make connections between global climate change and local environmental problems, and their ability to reach youth audiences. © 2014 National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
Fraser J.,New Knowledge Organization Ltd. |
Shane-Simpson C.,New Knowledge Organization Ltd. |
Asbell-Clarke J.,EdGE at TERC
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2014
This study explored the relationships between identity, science learning, and gaming. A survey of 1502 teenagers assessed gaming preferences, habits, science learning, science and gamer identities. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that enjoyment of problem-solving games and identifying as a gamer were the strongest predictors for teens' science understanding. Teen preferences for games with science-related features, and competence in problem-solving games were significant predictors of teens' understanding of science. Teens who preferred collaborative social games over science-oriented games were less likely to understand the nature of science. Teens with a stronger science identity were more likely to negatively evaluate their gaming groups, preferred problem-solving games, and claimed greater competence in games with science-related features when compared to those who do not self-identify as science thinkers. Results suggest that games that seek to support those who do not feel successful in science learning should focus on social interaction and involve activities and experiences that could be utilized in the real world rather than problem solving games. Results suggest that science-focused games may reinforce perceived self-efficacy and sense of competence in real world scientific reasoning situations for those already predisposed to feel confident as science thinkers. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Roberts S.-J.,Columbia University |
Roberts S.-J.,New Knowledge Organization Ltd. |
Cords M.,Columbia University
PeerJ | Year: 2015
In species that live in one-male groups, resident males monopolize access to a group of females and are assumed to have higher reproductive success than bachelors. We tested this assumption using genetic, demographic, and behavioral data from 8 groups of wild blue monkeys observed over 10 years to quantify reproduction by residents and bachelors and compare the success of the two tactics. We used maximum-likelihood methods to assign sires to 104 offspring born in the study groups, 36 of which were sired by extra-group males, i.e., residents of neighboring groups and bachelors. Among these extra-group males, high-ranking males (many of whom were neighboring residents) were more likely to sire offspring than low-ranking males, but the time these visiting males spent in the mother's group when she conceived (male presence) did not predict their relative success. When bachelors competed for reproduction with other bachelors, neither rank nor male presence during the mother's conceptive period affected the probability of siring an offspring, suggesting that highly opportunistic mating with conceptive females is important in bachelor reproduction. In a second analysis, we used long-term data to estimate resident and bachelor reproductive success over the long term, and particularly to determine if there are any circumstances in which a typical bachelor may sire as many offspring as a typical resident during one or two periods of residency. Our findings generally support the assumption of a resident reproductive advantage because in most circumstances, a lifelong bachelor would be unable to sire as many offspring as a resident. However, a bachelor who performs at the average rate in the average number of groups for several years may have similar lifetime reproductive success as a male whose reproduction is limited to one short period of residency, especially in a small group. Our findings suggest that one should not assume a resident reproductive advantage for males in one-male groups in all circumstances. © 2015 Roberts and Cords.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 432.94K | Year: 2016
The project will conduct a nation wide study to address three broad questions:
(1) How does the public view zoos and aquariums and how do these institutions affect STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) learning outside their walls?
(2) How do visitors experience zoos at different stages in their lives and how do zoo visits affect their knowledge and perspectives concerning environmental issues and conservation?
(3) What are the entry characteristics of visitors and how do those characteristics play out in behaviors during a visit?
The project is designed to advance understanding of how informal STEM learning emerges through the intersection of institutional pedagogy and learning goals and the characteristics of individuals and their social and cultural backgrounds. As the first institutional study that advances a field-wide research agenda, the project will map how to implement a national collaborative effort that can help refine program delivery and cooperation between zoos, aquariums and other STEM learning institutions.
The study will describe zoo and aquarium visitors based on a broad understanding of demographics, group, and individual perspectives to expand understanding of how these factors influence visitor learning and how they view the relevance of educational messages presented by zoos and aquariums. The project will result in reports, workshops and a handbook presenting findings of practical value for educators, a research platform and research tools, online discussion forums, and directions for future research. The project, led by New Knowledge Organization (NKO), will be carried out through the collaboration of NKO with other informal research organizations and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) with its 230 informal science learning institutional members. This project is supported by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program funds research and innovative resources for use in a variety of settings, as a part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments.