Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 12, Issue 1, Article 2 (Jun., 2011)
How did a science camp affect children’s conceptions of science?

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How did a science camp affect children’s conceptions of science?1



Abant Izzet Baysal University,
School of Education,
Department of Elementary Science Education,

Received 24 May, 2010
Revised 22 Apr., 2011



Science explores nature and the most authentic way of introducing science is creating learning environments in the nature and let children make their own discoveries in the nature as real scientists. Science camps would be an opportunity for this kind of science education. This study introduces a science camp and reports findings regarding its effectiveness on children’s conception of science.

The science camp was conducted at a holiday village which was located near a forest and lasted ten days between July, 4-13, 2008. The participants were 24 children (11 girls and 13 boys) who were at 6th and 7th grades. The science camp team mainly consisted of elementary science educators and the children interacted with them throughout the science camp.

First three days of the science camp program was aimed at developing background for inquiry and collaboration skills. In the following days, the students conducted guided-inquiry in small groups on a research question that they asked about the nature. Then, each group prepared a poster and presented it to their families on the last day of the science camp. Explicit NOS activities were also done throughout the science camp program. VNOS D was applied as pre- and post-test in order to determine the effectiveness of the science camp in introducing science and its specific aspects. Only data from two questions of the VNOS D which were about science and its distinguishing features from other areas were reported in this paper to investigate children’s ideas about science in general.

The results showed that science camp program improved children’s conceptions of science to a more scientific perspective. They learned more about scientific processes such as data, measuring, and interpreting. Some of them progressed more and provided more detailed expressions while defining science. Most of them had already perceived both the process and product of science, but their understanding of the process of science was detailed at the end of the science camp.

Keywords: Conception of science, science camp, guided-inquiry, nature of science

1Note: Earlier version of this paper presented at the 3rd Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference, June 2009, Singapore.



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