A Study of STEM Learning Ecosystems in Maine (2022)
The Revealing Systemic Impacts of a Statewide Science Field Trip Program research study applies learning ecosystem models as a theoretical and analytic framework to investigate the impact of a longstanding, statewide field trip program in the state of Maine. The study uses the LabVenture program as an example of a longstanding field trip that has been running for more than 15-years and reaches 70% of students across the state to understand potential community-level impacts. Although there are many prior studies of field trips that focus on students, teachers or schools, the characteristics of the LabVenture program allow us to extend this work by exploring community-level questions such as: To what degree does an experience that is shared across a community lead to a traceable change that can be measured for those who participated and across the broader community? In what ways, if at all, can one out-of-school experience have an influence on the larger learning ecosystem (e.g., the Maine education system)? The video will highlight our research findings from complementary data collection methods including retrospective interviews with students and teacher alumni, a statewide survey administered with the public across the state of Maine, intercept interviews and focus group discussions in case study communities. We look forward to talking with other researchers conducting studies with community partners and to discussing implications of study findings with researchers and education practitioners.
NSF Award: 1811452