Author: Ekapong Sripaoraya – University of Otago, New Zealand

Peter Dearden – Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago
Ian Griffin – Otago Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand
Nancy Longnecker – Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago

The present research examines outcomes of a science outreach program of the National Science Museum, Thailand (NSM), Science Caravan. The Science Caravan was established with the aim of promoting awareness of science and technology, and especially broadening and enhancing the attention and engagement of school students in Thai rural communities with science. The specific aims of this research include investigating participant attitudes and motivation toward science and technology, particularly regarding the principles of science in everyday life. The study examined school children 12 – 18 years old in an attempt to understand whether participation in the Science Caravan activity affects attitudes and motivation toward science.

In this study, attitude measurements are focused on three scales: (1) Personal interest in science, (2) Perspective about the value of science and (3) Intention of future participation. Motivation measurements are focused on three scales: (1) Intrinsic motivation, (2) Self-efficacy and (3) Self-determination. Students were randomly selected to complete surveys before and after participating in Science Caravan activities. Analysis of preliminary data from a pilot study of 107 students shows that there is a difference in the attitude measurement scale that reflects Personal interest in science between pre-test and post-test. Even though there is no difference in scales of motivation for learning science overall, there were differences between males and females in junior and senior levels. Furthermore, there is a strong positive relationship between the attitudinal scale Perspective about the value of science and the motivational scale Intrinsic motivation. The full data set will be accumulated by sampling the 1,500 participants of the Science Caravan, which reaches 12 locations in all five regions of Thailand. The results from the full data set will be presented.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices