Back to Volume
Paper: Developing Teenage Youth's Science Identity Through an Astronomy Apprenticeship: Summative Evaluation Results
Volume: 457, Connecting People to Science
Page: 209
Authors: Barros-Smith, R.; Porro, I.; Norland, E.
Abstract: We report on the results from the summative evaluation of the Youth Astronomy Apprenticeship (YAA) covering three years of implementation of the program. YAA is a year-long, out-of-school time initiative that connects urban teenage youth with astronomy as an effective way to promote scientific literacy and overall positive youth development. The program employs the strategies of a traditional apprenticeship model, common in crafts and trade guilds as well as in higher education. During the apprenticeship, youth develop knowledge and skills to create informal science education projects; through these projects they demonstrate their understanding of astronomy and use their communication skills to connect to general audiences. For some youth, participation extends across multiple years and their responsibilities for program implementation become multifaceted. Through exposing youth to astronomy investigations and providing opportunities to connect with audiences outside their program and communities, YAA expands scientific literacy to include assuming a science identity. We subscribe to the concept of science identity that describes personal ownership and integration of science into an individual's sense of self through processes of comprehension and personal meaning making. In the YAA context, science identity extends to and includes assuming an actual science advocacy role. Our methods for measuring the development of a science identity included assessments of a youth's perceived and actual understanding of science (cognitive construct), leadership in science (behavior construct), and commitment to science (affective construct).
Back to Volume