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New Heights High Attitude Research Program Assessment

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ERM Poster Session

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

23

Page Numbers

14.907.1 - 14.907.23

DOI

10.18260/1-2--4959

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4959

Download Count

185

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Paper Authors

biography

Stephen Snyder Taylor University

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I am an Educational Psychologist who has training and experience in assessing instruction and student cognition and motivation. I am currently part of an interdisciplinary team who has been awarded a NSF CCLI three year grant entitled: New Height's in STEM Undergraduate Learning.

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Elise Romines Taylor University

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I am an undergraduate Psychology student who is involved in an interdisciplinary team who is assessing the educational impact of the New Height's High Altitude Balloon Launch Research Program as it is integrated into undergraduate science classes.

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Rachel Dodge Taylor University

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I am an undergraduate Psychology student who is involved in an interdisciplinary team who is assessing the educational impact of the New Height's High Altitude Balloon Launch Research Program as it is integrated into undergraduate science classes.

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Jason Kruegar Taylor University

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Travis Booth Taylor University

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Josh Gates Taylor University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

New Heights High Attitude Research Program Assessment Key Words: Problem based instruction, Educational assessment, and Balloon research

Abstract

An investigation was conducted during the 2007-2008 school year assessing students (n = 141) enrolled in classes in which high altitude research based ballooning was integrated into the science curriculum. It was hypothesized that the unique hands on experience of the balloon research launch process would improve the students' scientific learning, motivation, and thinking skills. A pre-test post-test within group design was used to measure the changes in the students' intrinsic motivation, valuing of science, application knowledge, cognitive skills, metacognitive skills, and content knowledge. A 119 question High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) Assessment tool was used to collect quantitative data. Interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data and observational data was collected using the HARP Launch Observation instrument. Instruments used for evaluation were successfully checked for reliability and validity. It was found that the students experienced significant improvement in cognitive skills, content knowledge, and certain aspects of metacognitive skills, application knowledge, and intrinsic motivation. Triangulation of survey, observational, and interview data was performed to provide a validation and rich description of the program. The results from this study are being used to improve the instruction of the ballooning program at this university along with 20 other participating institutions that are adopting similar research based ballooning programs into their science curriculum as part of a three year longitudinal investigation.

Introduction

Introduction of Problem

The problem addressed in this research investigation was the creation of a program that engaged students in science, the development of instruments to assess the program gains of students, to assess the quality of this program, and support other institutions in applying this program to have a more significant impact on the education of students. This article describes the first three objectives of the answer to this problem forming the foundation for the later objective of generalizing the program and assessing the gains of institution over time.

Relevance of Program

The U.S. falling behind in the area of science and technology compared to other countries is a legitimate concern. Motivating undergraduates to enter Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degree programs is one way to help to address this problem. The High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) system does this by teaching the scientific method through applying experiments in the near space field. These experiments are developed by students using microelectronics (GPS, wireless, videos, miniature sensors, etc.). The program desires to train students to practically apply theory to real-life problems making them better prepared for graduate school or employment in industry. Students learn to solve problems and overcome obstacles by performing original experiments in real world settings.

Snyder, S., & Romines, E., & Dodge, R., & Kruegar, J., & Booth, T., & Gates, J. (2009, June), New Heights High Attitude Research Program Assessment Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4959

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