The Role of Informal Science Education Programs: A Closer Look at Project START Science
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This paper explores the effects of Project START Science, an undergraduate volunteer informal science education program, on student interest and engagement in STEM. A pre-post survey was administered to the participants to measure the change in STEM interest and the participants’ teachers were interviewed about their perceptions of the program’s impact. The statistical analysis performed to analyze the quantitative data, a paired t-test on the pre-post survey, yielded no significant results. However, the qualitative data from the interviews in conjunction with other descriptive statistics revealed that the program did have a positive affect on its participants, arousing interest, excitement, and high levels of engagement in STEM.
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