Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research CntrTitle: Integrating aquaculture in and outside the classroom that supports STEM education: A qualitative study to identify high school students' attitudes, interests, and experiences
|THOMPSON, KENNETH - Kentucky State University|
|POMPER, KIRK - Kentucky State University|
Submitted to: Aquaculture America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: This study explored the impact of an active aquaculture project-based learning program, as perceived by high school students. The purpose of this case study was to discover if participation in the program influenced students’ interest, engagement, and future educational and career aspirations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) when integrating aquaculture in, and outside, the classroom. Likewise, the study also wanted to explore students’ knowledge about aquaculture and skill development after their participation in the program. The study employed a qualitative methods approach to explore students’ attitudes and experiences. Qualitative data were collected from post student focus groups at three different public high schools in Kentucky. Other qualitative data included teacher journal reflections and public newspaper article. Four emergent themes were found: 1) students show excitement and enthusiasm in the hands-on, aquaculture program; 2) students show attention to detail in the hands-on, aquaculture tasks, it sticks, and are more responsible; 3) students are collaboratively engaged with their peers; and 4) Greater interest and confidence in STEM through practical application. Results demonstrated that the program engaged learners in real-world problem solving and decision-making situations while working collaboratively in small works. Students also gained an important life skill - responsibility - as well as self-confidence in STEM, after participating in the program.