Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



Informal science education serves as an important source for science education for both individuals and school groups. However, the effectiveness of school visits to informal science education events outside of either museums or science centers has received little investigation. This study explores the short-term effects of a hands-on learning experience on students’ attitude and content knowledge. Specifically, it investigates the impact of Ocean Commotion, a one-day event where exhibitors present information and hands-on demonstrations about marine environments and products, especially those important to Louisiana. Pre-tests were utilized to document students’ initial knowledge of and attitude toward wetlands and the ocean, as well as their attitude toward science in general. Following the event the same tests were administered again to capture any changes. The results showed that a one-day, hands-on event significantly increased student knowledge about and concern for marine environments, but did not have an impact on attitude toward science. This study demonstrates the value that transient learning events can provide and supports the development of similar events to promote not only ocean literacy, but also other topics as well.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Walsh, Maud Maureen