|Ph.D Student||Contini-Benjamin Hava|
|Subject||Bridging School Science with Museum Science:|
Learning about Energy
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisors||Mr. Michael Moore (Deceased)|
|Professor Emeritus Nitsa Movshovitz-Hada|
When a gap exists between school science learning and museum science learning, what might help bridge it? In this research, we show how the design and implementation of Bridging Activities can be used to bridge this gap.
The research took place at the “The National Museum of Science, Technology and Space,” and in 8 urban schools in the north of Israel. “Energy” was chosen as the focus of this research for several reasons, mainly because it is central to science understanding and highly connected to daily life.
Our main research questions were: (1) What do 5th grade students learn about energy in each of the two settings? (2) How is the visit to the museum perceived by teachers at school and at the museum? (3) What are the learning effects of Bridging Activities?
The study begins with a case study of how the topic of Energy is taught in these two learning environments. Next, the design of 5 Bridging Activities to connect these two environments is presented. Finally, we discuss the learning effectiveness of these Bridging Activities, based on study of 456 5th grade students who learned about the topic of “Energy” in these two learning environments; the experimental group used Bridging Activities while the comparison group did not. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Our experimental results support the claim that Bridging Activities can be effectively used to “connect” learning in these two environments. We contrast our “Connection Model” with the “Integration Model,” advocated in other studies and based on other educational activities designed to integrate the two learning environments.