Engaging and assessing students via a museum educational program
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Museum of Zoology, Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, GREECE
Section of Animal & Human Physiology, Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, GREECE
Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, GREECE
Online publication date: 2023-08-11
Publication date: 2023-10-01
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2023;19(10):em2334
Many museums offer educational programs encouraging visitors to “interact” with the subjects in a meaningful way. Students’ visit to a museum can be an effective means of introducing them to important science concepts through contact with actual specimens. As part of a properly designed educational program, students’ contact with realia can be an invaluable aid to engaging their interest and achieving corresponding learning goals. The present paper details a research project relating to the concept of evolutionary adaption. A worksheet was developed requiring students to work collaboratively during a museum visit to complete activities progressively leading them to the target goals of correlating: (i) the structure of certain physical features of birds with their function and (ii) the structure and function of those features with their respective habitats. The final worksheet activity was an open-ended assessment task aiming to identify the level of learning students had achieved from participating in the program. The results were statistically analyzed and indicated that students had grasped the concept of structure and function of specific traits and their importance to basic survival, but they had not been able to correlate the adaptation with other challenges presented by the habitat.
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