Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Environmental and Forest Biology

Thesis Advisor

Elizabeth Folta

Abstract

SUNY-ESF (State University of New York college of Environmental Science and Forestry) has many outreach programs, including ESF SCIENCE (Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments). SCIENCE is a camp with ESF students as instructors that exposes middle- to high- school age participants to urban environmental science. In order to provide immediate feedback about the camps, an end-of-camp survey was created and has been administered to SCIENCE participants since 2006. Approximately 741 surveys from 2006 to 2013 were analyzed and categorized according to emergent themes. Answers that contained parts of multiple categories were counted in each of those categories, and percent responses per category were averaged over all 8 years. The overwhelming majority of responses were about activities that included a food component. Overall, 92% said they would recommend this camp to a friend; 62% of these said they would recommend it because it was fun or “cool,” and an additional 25% would because the camp is educational. The results of this survey can help the ESF SCIENCE program in the future by providing baseline data that instructors can reference for methods to alter their programs. Additionally, it can help to show potential funders that the camp is successful in approaching informal science education in a way that is educational as well as fun for all participants and instructors. A more effective survey for obtaining specific data, as well as more information on non food-based activities and lessons, could include utilizing more specific questions, multiple choice questions and a Likert rating scale.

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