The purpose of this survey study was to compare students’ measured Likert scale perceptions of posttest school climate survey, relevance, rigor, and relationships domain scores following 11th- and 12th-grade participation in either an integrated experiential zoo-based academic high school science program (n = 18) or a same school district integrated experiential school-based academic high school science program (n = 18). Science coursework delivery site served as the study’s independent variable. ACT composite scores and science grade point average scores were equivalent for students participating in both science pro-grams. Students participating in the zoo-based experiential academic high school science program completed real world, hands-on projects on-site at a nationally recognized zoo while same school district control group students participating in the integrated experiential school-based academic high school science program completed matched curriculum, real world, simulated projects in their classrooms. Students who completed the integrated experiential zoo-based academic high school science program compared to control group students had statistically greater posttest Likert scale perceptions of program relevance where independent t(34) = 4.13, p = .0002 (two-tailed), ES = 1.410; program rigor t(34) = 3.66, p = .0008 (two-tailed), ES = 1.237; and program relationships t(34) = 4.98, p < .0001 (two-tailed), ES = 1.690. The importance of these powerfully held beliefs for students’ successful participation in their future science studies is discussed.
Henry Doorly Zoo and Hill, John W., "Relevance, Rigor, and Relationships: Student Perceptions Following Participation in an Integrated Experiential Zoo-Based Academic High School Science Program" (2013). Educational Leadership Faculty Publications. 18.