Title

Investigating Impacts on the Environmental Literacy of Secondary School Students Attending a Summer Science Program

Date of Award

4-2-2018

Semester of Degree

May

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Major Professor

Elizabeth Folta

CO-MP

Gregory McGee

Steering Committee Member

Andrea Feldpausch-Parker

Steering Committee Member

Brandon Murphy

Abstract

An environmentally literate public is crucial for combatting our world’s problems. This study evaluated impacts from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Outreach Department’s program: Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments (SCIENCE). Environmental literacy was assessed by administering pre-, post-, and follow-up tests to both SCIENCE participants and a comparison group. Counselors were interviewed to determine how their expectations matched participants’ performance. Environmental attitude scores were higher for SCIENCE versus the comparison group, but attitude scores did not increase over the program. Environmental knowledge was higher at the end of the program for both SCIENCE and the comparison group, but gains in environmental knowledge did not differ between them. Counselors understand they had limited impacts but still overestimated the scores participants would receive. These results add to the understanding of how best to increase environmental literacy with non-formal education experiences.

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