Addressing Climate Change through Biology Concepts

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Addressing Climate Change through Biology Concepts Insights for Educators
Physical Description:
1 online resource (75 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Hall, Stephanie A
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Forest Resources and Conservation
Committee Chair:
Monroe, Martha Carrie
Committee Members:
Martin, Timothy A
Jones, Linda Lee Ann

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
attitudes -- biology -- climate -- education -- high-school
Forest Resources and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Forest Resources and Conservation thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
Climate change is recognized by a majority of climate scientists as a critical issue that will impact natural and human environments.It is important for students to learn about climate change so they are able to make decisions about this issue. While both students and teachers are interested in addressing climate change in the science classroom, several strategies for doing so raise interesting questions. Although climate change is already part of earth science standards, using this issue to enhance biology standards could enable more students to learn about climate. However, preconceptions and attitudes students bring into the classroom could be a barrier to learning if students do not believe climate change has anthropogenic causes. This research endeavored to understand how students perceive a carbon cycle and sequestration lesson that is integrated with climate change concepts and explore the factors associated with students’ attitudes toward climate change. We experimentally tested two activities with high school sophomores. The group receiving the treatment integrating carbon concepts and climate change showed a significant increase in knowledge of carbon concepts (p=0.0102); the group that received these concepts separately did not (p=0.5430). Interviews with students support our conclusion that integrating these concepts can increase student knowledge about carbon concepts and interest. In two of three groups of students,perception of parents’ climate change attitudes were significantly associated with student attitudes (0.6081, 0.5881), while prior knowledge, religiousity,and political preference were not.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Stephanie A Hall.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local:
Adviser: Monroe, Martha Carrie.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2013
System ID:
UFE0045535:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

1 ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH BIOLOGY CONCEPTS: INSIGHTS FOR EDUCATORS By STEPHANIE HALL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TH E DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013

PAGE 2

2 2013 Stephanie Hall

PAGE 3

3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee, Dr. Martha Monroe, Dr. Tim Martin, and Dr. Linda Jones, for the tremendous guidance and support they have provided during this research project. I am truly grateful for the time and effort Dr. Monroe has put in to shaping not only this work but my knowledge of the research process in general. I would like to thank Dr. Martin for the help he provided for this research and also the activities it used. I am thankful to Dr. Jones for helping to increase my knowledge of education and education research. I also thank my family and friends who have provided emotional support during this sometimes difficult process. I appreciate the help Annie Oxarart has given in developing and implementing the activities used in this research. I am grateful the students who made this research po ssible. I am thankful to James Colee of the IFAS Statistical Cons ulting Unit for his help with the data analysis portion of this research. This research would not have been possible without the support and funding of PINEMAP, a USDA NIFA CAP project.

PAGE 4

4 TABL E OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 6 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 7 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 OVERVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 11 Public Attitude toward Climate Change ................................ ................................ ... 11 Communication Challenges for Climate Change ................................ .................... 12 Climate Change Education ................................ ................................ ..................... 13 Need for Research ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 14 2 INTEGRATING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH BIOLOGY CONCEPTS ...................... 15 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 15 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 16 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 21 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 21 Integrating Climate, Carbon Cycle and Carbon Sequestration ......................... 22 Survey and Interview ................................ ................................ ........................ 2 4 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 25 Student Attitude toward Climate Change and Possible Associated Factors ..... 25 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 26 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 27 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 28 Student Knowledge Gain ................................ ................................ .................. 28 Student Interest ................................ ................................ ................................ 29 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 30 ................................ ................................ 30 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 32 Future Research ................................ ................................ ............................... 34 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 34 3 SUMMARY ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 44

PAGE 5

5 APPENDIX A SQ 1 Pretest, Posttest ................................ ................................ ............................ 46 B SQ 2 PRETEST, POSTTEST ................................ ................................ ................. 51 C SCIENCE QUEST INTERVIEW GUIDE ................................ ................................ 56 D SSTP Pretest, Posttest ................................ ................................ ........................... 61 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 72 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 75

PAGE 6

6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 SQ mean test scores ................................ ................................ .............................. 40 2 2 Student Attitude about Climate Change and Possible Associated Factors ............ 41 2 3 Correlations with Student Attitude about Climate Change ................................ ..... 42 2 4 Additional Factors Included within Regression Analysis ................................ ........ 43

PAGE 7

7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Detailed Science Quest schedule ................................ ................................ .......... 36 2 2 ................................ .......................... 37 2 3 ............... 38 2 4 Science Quest Mean Test Scores ................................ ................................ .......... 39

PAGE 8

8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change SQ 1 Scie nce Quest week one SQ 2 Science Quest week two SSTP Student Science Training Program

PAGE 9

9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for th e Degree of Master of Science ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH BIOLOGY CONCEPTS: INSIGHTS FOR EDUCATORS By Stephanie Hall May 2013 Chair: Martha Monroe Major: F orest Resources and Conservation Climate change is recognized by a majority of climate scientists as a critic al issue that will impact natural and human environments. I t is important for students to learn about climate change so they are able to make decisions about this issue While both students and teachers are interested in addressing climate change in the sc ience classroom, several strategies for doing so raise interesting questions Although climate change is already part of earth science standards, using this issue to enhance biology standards could enable more students to learn about climate. However, prec onceptions and attitudes students bring into the classroom could be a barrier to learning if students do not believe climate change has anthropogenic causes. This research endeavored to u nderstand how students perceive a carbon cycle and sequestration less on that is integrated with climate change concepts and explor e the factors associated with toward climate change. We experimentally tested two activities with high school sophomores. The group receiving the treatment integrating carbon concepts and climate change showed a significant increase in knowledge of carbon concepts (p=0.0102); the group that received these concepts separately did not (p=0.5430). Interviews with students support

PAGE 10

10 our conclusion that integrating these concepts can increase student knowledge about climate change attitudes were significantly associated with student attitudes (0.6081, 0.5881) while prior knowledge, religiousity, and political preference were not.

PAGE 11

11 CHAPTER 1 OVERVIEW The Intergovernmental Pa nel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded that evidence for global warming over the last half century is unequivocal and unusual given the pattern of the previous 1,3 00 years (IPCC, 2007). In addition, the IPCC established that there are both human and natural drivers of observed global climate change and that the global climate is projected to continue to change. Observations indicate that these changes to the climate system are currently impacting both natural and human environments and models are increasing knowledge about the nature of future impacts (IPCC, 2007). These future impacts include changes to freshwater resources, marine, coastal, and terrestrial ecosyste ms, food and forest products, industry and communities, and human health. These impacts will be seen around the world, on every continent (IPCC, 2007). Mitigation techniques can help to delay, avoid, or reduce these impacts. Additionally, adaptation will b e necessary to decrease vulnerability to future climate change which is unavoidable based on emissions already in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007). In order to face this pressing environmental problem a knowledgeable citizenry is necessary to make decisions abo ut mitigation and adaptation strategies. Public Attitude toward Climate Change Despite the consensus among the scientific community about climate change, the U.S. public is still divided on the issue. In 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 the Yale Project on Clim ate Change and the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University surveyed U.S. adults to assess their attitudes about cl imate change (Leiserowitz, Maibach, Roser Renouf, Feinberg, & Howe, 2012). The results of the project grouped peopl e into six categories: alarmed, concerned, cautious,

PAGE 12

12 disengaged, doubtful, and dismissive. The people in the alarmed category are convinced climate change is happening and that humans are one of the causes; they are very concerned and perceive it as an urg ent threat. They also have already started to make changes in their lives due to climate change. At the other end of the spectrum are people in the dismissive category; they are also actively engaged in the topic of climate change but they are convinced th at it is not happening, it is not a threat, and that there should be no national response (Leis erowitz, Maibach, & Roser Renouf, 2009). In 2008 18 percent of Americans were in the alarmed category but by 2012 that number had dropped to 13 percent; the numb er of Americans in the dismissive category grew from 7 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2012 (Leiserowitz et al., 2009 ; Leiserowitz et al., 2012). Slight changes in public perception have been noted with each national survey. Communication Challenges for Climate Change In addition to the challenges posed by the diversity of attitudes about climate change, t here are several characteristics of climate change which make it a difficult subject t o communicate Many of the causes and impacts of climate ch ange ar e invisible ; people cannot see the greenhouse gases that are emitted during their actions (Moser, 2010). The impacts are also often temporally and geographically distant from the people causing them. The ecosystem changes due to climate change lack immedia cy and are often detected in places where people do not live such as the Arctic, high elevations, and coral reefs (Moser, 2010) Short term natural variations and cycles in the climate system can complicate long term data trends. Climate changes due to nat ural phenomenon are challenging to discern from anthropogenic changes and models are not easy to communicate (Moser, 2010).

PAGE 13

13 D ue to the complexity there are many models of climate change and uncertainty among scientists over the intensity of the impacts; t his uncertainty is sometimes misinterpreted by the public as a question of whether the climate is changing or what is causing it. The fossil fuel industry and other conservative forces ha ve effectively used the media to fos ter an atmosphere of doubt and di sbelief by creating messages of inadequate scientific understanding, lack of scientific consensus, and alternative explanations for climate change evidence (Moser, 2010). People also have less personal evidence of subtle environmental changes because they spend more time indoors and less time interacting with nature (Moser, 2010) Because changes in the levels of greenhouse gases are the result of cumulative action, some people may feel that they cannot impact the climate negatively or positively. When peo ple do take steps to mitigate climate change they will likely not be able to attribute any change to their action. Some people are skeptical that society can or is willing to take steps to mitigate climate change (Moser, 2010). The complexity of the issue makes it unrealistic to expect people to have a full understanding of the issue but exactly what people need to understand to make informed decisions is not clear (Moser, 2010). Climate Change Education Youth need to be better prepared to become members o f a knowledgeable citizenry that will face challenges imposed by climate change. This means that education on climate change in high school is important. Climate change is generally covered in the earth and environmental science classrooms ( Monroe, Oxarart & Plate, in press ; Wise, 2010 ). However, opportunities exist for climate change to move beyond the earth science classro om (Fortner, 2001) and in to biology classrooms since the

PAGE 14

14 impacts will significantly affect ecosystems (IPCC, 2007). One way to incorpo rate it into other classes would be to infuse it with the concepts already covered in those classes, as a real world example to increase student interest (Bennett Lubben, & Hogarth 2007). For example, the carbon cycle could serve as a way to connect clim ate change to the biology classroom. If high school students mirror the diverse opinions found in the adult population, however, it could be a challenge to educate some students about climate change due to the connection between attitudes and learning (Rob inson, 2011). Need for Research Although the serious nature of climate change points to a clear need for education on the subject, the complex nature of climate change and climate change communication makes this difficult. This suggests a rich arena for research on how to effectively incorporate climate change into the biology curriculum The next chapter describes a study that investigated a strategy for incorporating climate change into biology concepts at the high school level It examined if teaching about carbon and climate change in an integrated manner increased student knowledge about carbon and interest in the lesson. In addition, since student attitudes may play a significant role in impacting student learning this study explored different factor s that may be associated with student attitude toward climate change.

PAGE 15

15 CHAPTER 2 INTEGRATING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH BIOLOGY CONCEPTS Introduction The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global war ming is unequivocal and due to human and natural causes (IPCC, 2007). According to the IPCC the effects of climate change are already being observed and these changes will continue to impact natural and human environments (IPCC, 2007). Because the issue an d potential consequences raise important questions in many areas of policy and commerce for the foreseeable future, high school students should learn about climate change so they can become knowledgeable citizens who are able to make informed decisions abo ut mitigation and adaptation activities. Despite the interest among U.S. high school students for climate ch ange education, they have a limited knowledge of climate change ( Leiserowitz, Smith, & Marlon, 2011 ; S hepardson Niyogi, Choi, & Charusombat 2009 ; Wise, 2010 ). High school science t eachers need to be able to incorporate c limate change into the curriculum despite the controversy created by the diversity of opinions on the issue and the challenge of misconceptions that students bring to the classroom. Since as in adults, these diverse opinions may be related to outside influences, such as politics and religion providing a successful climate change lesson may be dependent on better understanding the influence these outside forces can have on student a ttitude. Understanding how best to incorporate climate change into the biology curriculum given the challenges of this controversial topic is an important area for research.

PAGE 16

16 This study aimed to further the research on effectively incorporating climate ch ange into biology concepts given the diversity of attitudes that students may hold. It measured whether connecting traditional biological science lessons to climate change impacted student knowledge gain and interest in the activities. It also explored the change. Literature Review Although global climate change is a critical environmental issue, high school students in the United States lack a basic knowledge of the s ubject. A national study of 517 youth ages 1 3 to 17 assessed the following four dimensions: Specific knowledge about the causes, consequences, and potential solution to global warming Contextual knowledge placing human caused global warming in historical and geographic perspective al., 2011). Unfortunately, only 25 percent of respondent s would have receive d a passing grade (Leiserow itz et al., 2011). generalizing, such as believing all types of air pollution ca use climate change ( Shepardson et al., 2009 ; Wise, 2010 ) or confusing different environmental problems, such as believing that the hole in the ozone layer is the primary cause of climate change (Leiserowitz et al., 2011; Porter, Weaver, & Raptis, 2012; Shepardson Niyogi, Choi, & Charusombat 2011; Shepar dson Niyogi, Roychudhury, & Hirsch, 2012 ) A poor

PAGE 17

17 und erstanding of greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect and failing to differentiate between climate and weather also contribute to their reported lack of knowledge (Porter et al., 2012; Shepardson et al., 2011; Shepardson e t al., 2012; Wise, 2010 ). While students may understand basic concepts, such as the carbon cycle, they are less likely to be able to explain how humans impact the carbon cycle (Shepardson et al., 2012), how climate change impacts humans (Shepardson et al., 2009; Shepardson et al., 2012) or different ial regional impacts (Porter et al., 2012 ; Shepardson e t al., 2009; Wise, 2012 ). As a result of these basic and fundamental problems in understanding climate and climate change, high school stud ents are unprepared to address the issue (Leis erowitz et al., 2011) To better prepare these youth to take on these future challenges, high school biology classes should include the causes and impacts of climate change. Despite the requirements that earth and environmental science courses cover climat e change, most students are not well informed on this issue (Leiserowitz et al., 2011). The same national study of teen knowledge on climate change reported that only percent said that they would like to know more (Leiserowitz et al., 2011). Climate chang e ha s been inconsistently addresse d in state education standards, with o nly eleven states having standards that address ed the historical mechanisms, human causes, and t he impacts of climate change in 2010 ; among those only three included climate change mitigation (Wise, 2010). The national Next Generation Science Standards of 2013, however, have incorporated anthropogenic climate change as a

PAGE 18

18 core concept (NGSS Framework, 2013). As states adopt these standards teachers will be expected to include climate change in their lessons, but there are several different ways they might do so. One strategy to include climate change in the classroom is to integrate climate into exist ing concepts already covered in key classes. By including information about climate change in biology courses, more students are likely to learn about climate change than if it were included in earth science courses; in 2009, 95.6 percent of high school gr aduates took high school biology and only 27.7 percent took earth science (Digest of Education Statistics, 2011). The carbon cycle, for example, is a required component in the biology standards and is also an important part of understanding the causes of c limate change and the greenhouse effect (Shepherd, 2011). C arbon sequestration in forest ecosystems is a key strategy in mitigating climate change. These concepts could be opportunities to introduce climate change into biology classes. Understanding the ca uses of climate change is a predictor of intentions to take 2000). Attitudes could affect learning, however, and integrating a controversial topic like climate change, which h as deeply divided the American public (Leiserowitz et al., 2012), with biology concepts could affect knowledge gain. On the one hand, applying basic scientific principles to real world issues can improve student interest in science (Bennett et al., 2007). At the same time, however, if students do not believe climate change has anthropogen ic causes, their attitudes can be a barrier to learning (Robinson, 2011).

PAGE 19

19 obstacle to dee per learning and lead students to become disenga ged with the issue. Some students adopt the viewpoint of climate skeptics based on their incomplete knowledge of the topic (Robinson, 2011). an important influe nce on their learning, then an exploration of several factors that could affect student attitudes could be useful. attitudes in environment and politics (Eagles & Demare, 2010 ; Tedin, 1974). Home is where the foundation of interest and sensitivi ty to the environment are developed, making parents an important influence on student attitudes (Eagles & Demare, 2010) Discussing the environment at home and reading about the environm ent for example, have been correlated with increased ecologistic and moralistic attitudes toward the environment in students (Eagles & Demare, 2010). T here is also a strong correlation between parental political attitudes and the political attitudes of the ir children (Tedin, 1974), suggesting opinions accurately so it is not the actual attitude of the par ents that is the predictor of he perceived attitude (Acock & Bengston, 1980). The correlation between student attitudes and perception of their parent attitudes increases with the importance of the issue to the parent, th e frequency of the parent student discussions a bout the issue, and the parent if the student adopted a different attitude on the issue (Tedin, 1974). Perception of p arental attitudes toward climate chan ge could be an important factor in understan ding issue.

PAGE 20

20 affiliation. People who are more concerned about climate change skew strongly to the left and are more likely than national averages to be Democrats, Independents, and liberal (Leiserowitz, Maibach, & Roser Renour, 2007). People who are not convinced that climate change is happening are skewed strongly to the right and are more likely to be Republican and conservative (Leiserowitz et al., 2007; McCright and Dunlap, 2011). In addition, willingness to change behavior to mitigate climate change is higher among Democrats than Republicans and the environment in general is viewed as more of a De mocratic issue (ABC News, 2007). If youth have polit ical preferences, these preferences might also affect their attitude toward climate change. Adults who are more concerned about climate change are less religious than national averages and a majority rarely or never attends religious services (Leiserowitz et al., 2007). Adults who are not convinced climate change is happening are more likely to attend religious services weekly and be Evangelical Christians (Leiserowitz et al., 2007). Christianity and interest in science (Fulljames, Gibson, & Francis, 1991). A lack of public concern over climate change is often attributed to a lack of understanding. However, members of the public with the highest degree of scientific literacy and technical reasoning capacity are not the most concerned about climate change (Ka han et al., 2012). Research has also shown that while those most concerned about climate change score higher on some knowledge questions, climate change

PAGE 21

21 skeptics score higher on oth ers (Leiserowitz et al., 2011). High school students have shown higher conc ern for environmental issues when they feel more knowledgeable about those issues (Lyons & Breakwell, 1994) Therefore, it is unclear if students prior knowledge about climate change impacts their attitude about climate change. Integrating climate change into the biology classroom by connecting it to the carbon cycle and carbon sequestration is a potential strategy to allow more students to learn about climate change while increasing interest in these lessons. There is the es toward climate change could be a potential barrier, however (Robinson, 2011) factors associated with their attitude could be helpful to educators. Research Questions This study was designed to explore a strategy for teaching about climate change given the diversity of at titudes about the issue. It aimed to further understand the influence of a variety of factors on student attitudes about climate change. This study addre sses the following questions: 1. Does teaching about climate change, the carbon cycle, and carbon sequestration in an integrated manner increase student interest in and knowledge about these carbon concepts? 2. To what extent are the following factors associated with student attitude about climate change ? a) b) Religiousity c) Prior knowledge d) Political preferences Methods Data were collected from two summer science programs Science Quest and Student Scie nce Training Program, for high school students organized by the University

PAGE 22

22 of Florida Center for Precollegiate Education and Training in June, 2012 The first research question on integrating the carbon cycle and carbon sequestration with climate was ans wered with pre and post treatment survey data that were collected during Science Quest. The second research question was answered with data on factors associated with student attitude collected in both programs. Since the study sample was composed of high achieving students interested in science the results are not generalizable to the wider population of high school students. This small experiment could, however, be helpful in gaining insights about advanced students that could be expanded in future resear ch. Other dimensions of the summer science programs, such as a residential experience, less familiarity with peers, University instructors, and an the activities. Thes Integrating Climate, Carbon Cycle and Carbon Sequestration Participants in the Science Quest (SQ) program were rising high school sophomores in two offerings of a one week summer science program. T here is no reason that the students in the two offerings should be different. Students in each program engaged in a half day educational experience about forest carbon. One activity Water The other activity focused on carbon sequestration and is a typical tree measurement activity used in forestry classes with sequestration and emissions data added for discussion. Both activities were reviewed by an advisory committee of twenty educators and also underwent expert review for accuracy The activities were led by faculty who have experience teaching these concepts, with support from four students and staff.

PAGE 23

23 The week one group (SQ 1) learned about carbon in the context of climate change (Figure 2 1) They first took a pretest (Appendix A) on their carbon and climate change knowledge and began the lesson by becoming carbon atoms and moving through the biological portion of the carbon cycle. T he geological portion of the carbon cycle was then introduced through lecture and students worked in groups to draw a complet e carbon cycle. Students discussed how humans are changing the quantities in carbo n pools and the impacts this could have for the climate. Students then measured the height and diameter of trees in a pine forest and determine d c arbon storage and sequestration rate. They calculated an average c arbon emissions rate for the state and the sequestration potentia l of the pine forests across the state, comparing the two and discussing other land uses that sequester carbon, ho w this rela tes to climate and what could be done to reduce atmospheric carbon Students then took a posttest (Appendix A) on their knowledge of carbon and climate change. G roup interviews (Appendix C) exploring their attitudes about the lesson concluded the session Each interview consisted of six students and a trained facilitator. The facilitator recorded and took notes during the interviews. The week two group (SQ 2) participated in the same activities but without the context of climate change (Figure 2 1) The pr etest (Appendix B) did not contain knowledge questions on climate change. The discussion of climate change, emissions rate and occurred after students took the posttest (Appendix B). Group in terviews (Appendix C) were conducted after the discussion to explore stude

PAGE 24

24 Survey and Interview The knowledge assessment questions on the pretest and posttest were developed to reflect the objec tives and content of the less on The climate change attitude questions were adapted from questions used in Roper polls from 2000 to 2010 (McCright & Dunlap 2011) The pretest and posttest were pilot tested for length and vocabulary with ten rising high school freshmen and sophomores. Based on the re sults of the pilot test, some vocabulary was changed For example, the word exponential was removed because stud ents were unfamiliar with the word Two experts also r eviewed the pretest and posttest for content validity. The SQ 1 pretest a nd both posttests contained seven multiple choice questions that covered carbon and climate change knowledge. The SQ 2 pretest had five questions on carbon knowledge. The pretest and posttest were closely linked with the student learning objectives. The di scussion questions during the lesson were scripted and linked with the knowledge assessment questions. One member of the teaching team observed whether all pertinent information was covered and interjected if something was missed. Student interest in the c arbon activities was assessed from open ended interviews. Students were asked if they felt that knowing the carbon cycle and carbon sequestration are important part s of climate change made the activities more or less interesting to them. Students were also asked if t hey preferred learning about this connection throughout the lesson o r preferred the connection to be saved for the end. Group interviews during the Science Quest program were used to enable us to hear from all the students in a limited time peri od. One disadvantage of this format is that students may have felt pressured to provide similar answers to those who already

PAGE 25

25 responded, creating more agreement than might have existed. However, individual interviews would not have been feasible and a rando m sample to reduce the number of interviews could have easily missed minority views. Data Analysis For the kno wledge questions on the Science Quest pretest and posttest a value of 1 was given for a correct answer and 0 for an incorrect answer; independent and paired t treatments of Science Quest. swers to the interview question about whether they were interest ed in the lesson were ta llied. Themes arising from comments r using inductive category coding (Thomas, 2006 ). Student Attitude toward Climate Change and Possible Associated Factors T o answer the second research question the Science Quest posttest also attitudes about climate change, perception of their hange, and demographics In addition to the data collected from the Scien ce Quest participants, data were also collected from students in the Student Science Training Program (SSTP). Participants were rising high school juniors and seniors in a seven week residential summer science research program. All of the students took a p retest (Appendix E) which assessed their climate change about climate change and reasons people hold different opinions about it, participated in homework, and took a posttest (Appendix E) which measured their climate change knowledge and attitude.

PAGE 26

26 The SSTP pretest contained 20 multiple choice questions measuring climate change knowledge, student attitude toward climate change, student perception of es about climate change, and parent political views and education level. The SSTP posttest had 22 multiple choice questions and 2 open ended questions. These questions measured climate change knowledge, student attitude about climate change, demographic qu estions, and their attitude toward the lecture. All three programs covered a substantial amount of information and were limited by time. Therefore, we developed a short survey to collect data. A longer survey may titudes and enabled the results to show more significant differences. Data Analysis St were determ ined by combining answers from four questions and creatin g a new variable on a five point scale ( F igure 2 2 ) Particip ants in Science Quest answered these questions only on the posttest. SSTP p questions and creating a new variable with a scale of one to five ( F igure 2 3 ) For both one to five, then averaged to obtain a value for the new variable. Students were allowed to mark diff erent answers for each parent; those two responses were averaged. A score of one indicates someone who believes the media exaggerates the seriousness of climate change thinks it will not ever happen, and that any climate change is caused by natural f orces. A score of f iv e indicates the individual believes the media

PAGE 27

27 underestimates the seriousness of climate change believes that it is happening now, and that humans are causing it. religiousity was measured by combining two item s and creating a new variable with a scale of one to four. One question asked how often their family attended religious services and the other asked them to check adjective s that described their friends; the adjective rel igious was included in the list A score of o ne i ndicates an individual whose family never attends religious services and who would not describe their friends as religious. A four indicates someone who attends religious services regularly and would describe their friends as religious. tion was used (due to the limited sample size) to measure the relationship their political views, religiousity, and pre existing knowledge To assess the relationship between attitude and pre existing knowledge only the pretest score from SSTP was used since the SQ tests focused on carbon knowledge rather than climate. A forward stepwise regression was used to predict a relationship between student attitude about climate change and other factors. The predictors included were pretest score, posttest score how informed they felt about climate change, their trust in scientists, perception of s and political views, religiousity, their own political views, and gender. Results The results for each research question will be presented separately starting with the question of integrating climate change, the carbon cycle, and carbon sequestration.

PAGE 28

28 Demographics The twenty two students in SQ 1 were evenly split between males and females. Most (21) of the students were rising sophomores and one was a year younger. All of the students indicated that they intended to go to college. All but two of the students had learned about global clima te change in school. There were twenty four students in SQ 2, twelve males, eleven females, and one student who preferred not to say. Twenty three of the students were rising sophomores and one was a year older. All of the students indicated that they in tended to go to college. Nineteen of the students had learned about global climate change in school. Student Knowledge Gain Student knowledge gain for the two weeks of the Science Quest program was compared using the mean student scores on the pretest and posttest. A t test (p<0.05) of the carbon knowledge questions found that there was no significant difference between the two pretests suggesting the two treatment groups had statistically similar knowledge prior to the activities. There was no significan t difference between the carbon posttest means A significant difference was found between the climate change knowledge questions on the two posttests, verifying that the week 1 program conveyed information about climate change and the week 2 program did n ot. A significant difference (p<0. 05) between the SQ 1 pretest and posttes t indicates that SQ 1 students learned significantly more about both carbon and climate change during the activity SQ 2 studen ts did not, as measured by the same posttest (T able 2 1 ) Figure 2 4 displays the comparison between the pretest and posttest for both weeks of Science Quest.

PAGE 29

29 Student Interest Student interest in activities that covered carbon and climate change together or activities that taught them separately was assessed d uring the interviews at t he conclusion of the Science Quest activities Both treatments were explained and s tudents were asked if they felt the connection to climate change made the activities more interesting and if they preferred the treatment they recei ved or if they would have preferred the other All but three of the forty seven students indicated that they felt that knowing that carbon is an important part of climate change made the activities more interesting. Of the students who found th e connection interesting, thirty three preferred the connection throughout the activities and nine students preferred the connection at the end. Student responses varied on why they found the connection to climate ch ange interesting or not; five themes emerged from st udent responses. Each theme is described below with two representative quotes and the number of quotes within the theme. A full list of the quotes that formed each theme can be found in Appendix D. 1. Relevance (15) : a) I thought it made it much more interest ing because then you could actually relate to the carbon cycle and how it real ly does affect the environment. b ) the only reason why I think about climate; if I should wear jeans or shorts. So it 2. Importance (7) : a) about how really important carbon is and just try to find ways to reduce the b) I guess the only thing that I can really add is just that it gives it definitely a more of an urgent tone 3. Understanding (10) : a) It was nice to learn more in depth about the carbon cycle, just not looking at a chart and just tellin g a paragraph or two abo ut it. b) I thought it made it more interesting because you could see how they both interact with each other 4. Experiential (3): a) I think giving a purpose to something, to anything really, learning but showing you hands on with math you can give a problem that links

PAGE 30

30 the math problem to the real world, but doing it hands on in this way, it really make students want to become active in helping the environment and global warmin g. b) Probably more interesting because I got to interact with things. 5. Controversial (2): a) I thought it made it more interesting because global warming make this our top priorit I thought it made it more interesting because you got to see the people who really care about the trees, you got to see their perspective on the issue. b) A lot d about learning about saving the environment and their effects on it, so I think if you were to explain that the whole activity would be about carbon in the atmosphere and the effect from fossil fuels then it would be less interesting throughout the whole motivated to do the beginni ng portion of the whole lesson. Demographics There were ninety one students in the Student Science Training Program (SSTP) though consent and assent forms were obtained for only forty two participant s. The people who did not give consent appear to have forgotten to return it; no one voiced an objection to the study. There were forty responses for the posttest because two students were not present. Of these respondents, there were twenty one males and nineteen females. Two students were rising juniors and the rest were rising seniors. Thirty nine of the students indicated that they intended to attend college and one was undecided. Thirty one of the students had learned about global climate change in sch ool. r for SQ 1 than SQ 2 and SSTP (T able 2 2). parents attitudes about climate change varied across the three programs but did no t differ significantly. Students were asked how often they talked with parents about climate change; this question was scored on a scale of one to three, one being never and three being often. A t test of how

PAGE 31

31 often they talked to their parents about climat e change showed no significant difference between the three groups but did not differ significantly. For SQ 1 six students selected SQ 2 and SSTP, but not SQ 1 (T able 2 3). There was not a significant correlation between SSTP participants, there was not a significant correlation between the pretest knowledge score How informed they felt they were about climate change was ranked on a scale of one to four with four bei bei Their trust in information from scientists was ranked on a scale of one to five with five Very ere allowed to mark a different answer for each about climate change and having a greater trust in inform ation from scientists t han

PAGE 32

32 students in SQ 2 and SSTP (T able 2 The forward stepwise regression determined a R square value of 0.15 for SQ 1, For SQ 2 a R square value of 0.41 was f only significant term. A R square value of 0.46 was found for the Student Science Training Program Discussion In exploring whether climate change information can be successfully integrated into biological con cepts such as the carbon cycle, this study found that students who learned about carbon in the context of climate change made significant improvements in knowledge of the carbon cycle and carbon sequestration over those who did not. Embedding the carbon cy cle and sequestration lesson in climate change appears to have significantly increased student knowledge about carbon, given the difference in SQ 1 knowledge scores compared to SQ 2; although this conclusion would be stronger had there been a significant d ifference between the posttests. Comments from the interviews confirm that knowing that carbon is related to and could help address climate change made the activity about forest carbon sequestration more interesting and important to nearly all the students Students explained that l inking carbon cycle and sequestration activities with climate change helps them learn, because the content becomes more interesting, relevant, and meaningful. A majority of students recommended that the connection to climate chan ge should be made throughout the lesson. Students in SQ 1 found the connection to climate change interesting and had

PAGE 33

33 significant knowledge gain even though they had a significantly lower attitude than students in SQ 2, suggesting that integrating the carbo n cycle and sequestration with climate change could be beneficial even for students who care less about climate change. varied between the groups attitudes. One reason that the mean student attitude about climate change may have been significantly lower for SQ 1 than the other two grou ps is that it was the only group in which Democrat was not the dominant political view. It is unclear why SQ 2 and SSTP demonstrated a high correlation between student attitudes and perception of n the two attitudes. The two groups for which we report a high correlation between student attitudes and ttitude. The R views, but there are clearly other factors that account for student attitude. This suggests that in some groups there could be a significant relationship be This research suggests that s tudents come into the classroom already holding opinions about climate change which are influenced by factors outs However, because student attitudes for SSTP changed between the pretest and

PAGE 34

3 4 udes, it appears that instruction on climate change could make students more able to overcome the influence Future Research Future research could include a more rep resentative sample of students, schools, classes, and teacher s. It could also focus on measuring the extent that other explicitly tested with mor e survey items or open ended questions. Studies could confirm the findings for integrating the carbon cycle and sequestration with climate change by exploring other concepts in biology. More studies could track how students whose beliefs about climate chan ge differ from the scientific consensus experience science lessons and how various teaching strategies may engage them appropriately. Conclusion Educators face a number of challenges when conveying the science that underpins a controversial issue. The opp ortunity to infuse a current issue into traditional biological concepts appears to make those concepts more meaningful and interesting, regardless of preexisting attitudes. In communities where parents play a significant role in shaping student attitudes i climate change so that students and parents can talk and think about climate change together. Adult education on climate change in the community could also help improve climate change knowledge and h elp alleviate the pushback teachers might feel when introducing the topic.

PAGE 35

35 Connecting biology lessons to climate change can make it easier for teachers to include climate change in the already overloaded curriculum. Students said that the carbon cycle and climate change are usually taught in two different chapters and they appreciated seeing how the two were connected. It may not be enough to cover the information in the same year; students may need to work with both concepts simultaneously. Students also r ecognized that the experiential nature of these activities enabled them to learn more than merely memorizing the textbook diagram. Climate change may be a difficult topic for teachers to cover but it is a critical issue that many students want to learn abo ut. Using the science of the carbon cycle and the impacts of sequestration to better understand climate change and possible mitigation strategies appears to be a teaching technique that provides multiple benefits.

PAGE 36

36 SQ 1 10 minutes Welcome and introducti on to the day 10 minutes Pretest 10 minutes Lecture on connection between carbon cycle and climate change 15 minutes Activity on biological portion of the carbon cycle 10 minutes Discussion about previous activity and introduction of geological portion of carbon cycle 15 minutes Group work to map entire carbon cycle 10 minutes Discussion of human changes to the carbon cycle and connection to climate change 10 minutes Explanation of how to measure trees 40 minutes Group work to measure trees 5 minu tes Explanation of carbon storage calculations 10 minutes Group work to calculate carbon storage 10 minutes Discussion of results and explanation of carbon sequestration and emission rates calculations 10 minutes Group work to calculate carbon sequestr ation and emissions rates 10 minutes Discussion of results 10 minutes Wrap up questions and discussion 10 minutes Posttest 30 minutes Group interviews SQ 2 10 minutes Welcome and introduction to the day 10 minutes Pretest 5 minutes Introduction t o carbon cycle 15 minutes Activity on biological portion of the carbon cycle 10 minutes Discussion about previous activity and introduction of geological portion of carbon cycle 15 minutes Group work to map entire carbon cycle 10 minutes Discussion of human changes to the carbon cycle 10 minutes Explanation of how to measure trees 40 minutes Group work to measure trees 5 minutes Explanation of carbon storage calculations 10 minutes Group work to calculate carbon storage 5 minutes Discussion of results 10 minutes Posttest 10 minutes Lecture on connection to climate change 5 minutes Explanation of carbon sequestration and emission rates calculations 10 minutes Group work to calculate carbon sequestration and emissions rates 10 minutes Disc ussion of results 10 minutes Wrap up questions and discussion 30 minutes Group interviews Figure 2 1. Detailed Science Quest schedule

PAGE 37

37 1. In your opinion, the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally c orrect o Generally underestimated o 2. Which one of the following statements do you think is more accurate? o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientist believe climate change is not occurring o Most climate scientists ar e unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not 3. over the last century are caused by: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural chan ges o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both human and natural effects equally o Only natural changes in the environment o Only the effects of pollution from human activities 4. Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of climate change might begin to happen? o They have already begun to happen o They will start happening within a few years o They will start happening within my lifetime o They will not happen within my lifetime, but they will affect future g enerations o They will never happen Figure 2 2

PAGE 38

38 Please answer the following questions based on what YOU THINK your parents/guardians believe. If your parents agree with each other, mark only one answer. If you r parents have different opinions, mark both answers. 1. My parents would agree most with the following statement: o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists do not believe that climate change is occurring o Most cl imate scientists are unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not o I do not know 2. mostly to: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both equally o I do not know 3. My parents think the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimat ed o I do not know Figure 2 3

PAGE 39

39 Figure 2 4 Science Quest Mean Test Scores

PAGE 40

40 Table 2 1. SQ mean test scores SQ 1 (n=22) SQ 2 (n=24) P Value Standard Error Mean Pretest Scor e 3.48 carbon 1.43 climate change 3.83 carbon 0.2247 carbon 0.2784 carbon Mean Posttest Score 4.13 carbon 1.96 climate change 3.96 carbon 1.29 climate change 0.2951 carbon 0.0002* climate change 0.1622 carbon 0.1595 climate change P Value 0.0102* carbon 0.0004* climate change 0.5430 carbon Standard Error 0.2319 carbon 0.1238 climate change 0.2025 carbon *Significant at the p<0.05 level

PAGE 41

41 Table 2 2. Student Attitude about Climate Change and Possible Associated Factors SQ 1 (n=23) Standard Deviation SQ 2 (n=24) Standard Deviation SSTP (n=42) Standard Deviation Mean Student Attitude 1 2.07 0.6450 3.40 0.6031 3.45 pre 3.43 post 0.5953 0.5250 Mean Perception of Both Attitude 2 2.27 0.4729 2.32 0.6673 2.75 0.6788 Student Political Views (Republic an Independent Democrat Other) 27.3% 9.1% 18.2% 9.1% 20.8% 16.7% 45.8% 4.2% 12.8% 23.1% 30.8% 17.9% Religiousity 3 2.68 0.9455 2.21 1.1025 2.55 0.8458 Pretest Score 4 --4.64 0.6560 1 Scale of 1 (less concerned) to 5 (more concerned). 2 Scale of 1 (less concerned) to 5 (more concerned). 3 Scale of 1 (less religious) to 4 (more religious). 4 Scale of 0 to 7 based on the number of correct answers.

PAGE 42

42 Table 2 3. Correlations with Student Attitude about Climate Change Factor Correlated with Student Atti tude SQ 1 (n=23) SQ 2 (n=24) SSTP (n=42) Perception of 0.0065 0.6081 0.5881 pre 0.4338 post Religiousity 0.0192 0.0886 0.0832 Pretest Score --0.0438

PAGE 43

43 Table 2 4. Additional Factors Included within Regression Analysis SQ 1 Stand ard Deviation SQ 2 Standard Deviation SSTP Standard Deviation Informed about Climate Change 1 3.39 0.4990 3.08 0.7173 2.86 pre 3.1 post 0.6077 0.5905 Trust in Scientists 2 4.52 0.5108 4.0 0.6594 3.90 pre 3.2 post 0.6172 1.1591 Worry about Climate Chan ge 3 2.78 0.8505 2.46 0.8836 2.55 pre 2.78 post 0.9160 0.8619 Discuss CC with Parents 4 1.64 0.6580 1.63 0.7109 1.67 0.6115 Education Level 5 4.96 5.26 1.0651 0.9638 4.88 5.29 1.5690 0.9991 5.02 5.46 1.3691 0.8688 Perception of Politics (Republican Independent Democrat Other) 48% 4% 26% 4% 39% 9% 30% 4% 29% 13% 46% 4% 21% 17% 50% 0% 32% 15% 37% 0% 24% 12% 46% 0% 1 Scale 1 (not at all informed) to 4 (very informed). 2 Scale 1 (very inaccurate) to 5 (very accurate) 3 Scale 1 (not at all) to 4 (a great deal) 4 Scale 1 (never) to 3 (often) 5 Scale 1 (did not finish high school) to 6 (graduate/professional school)

PAGE 44

44 CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY Climate is typically a unit for the earth science classroom but it can help to enhance the biology curr iculum by providing an interesting purpose for learning about topics such as the carbon cycle. The preceding study investigated a strategy for integrating climate change with biological concepts. If climate change can be connected to biology concepts, this could help biology teachers include the issue in their lessons which would allow more students to learn about the subject. Connecting biology lessons to climate change could increase student interest in the activities and student knowledge. This means tha t teachers do not need to think of climate change as an additional burden on an already overloaded curriculum. Rather climate change can be connected with material already taught in the classroom, serving two purposes. It will help students become more kno wledgeable about climate change, creating an informed citizenry, and make these subjects more interesting by giving them a real world application. Students said that the carbon cycle and climate change are usually taught from two different chapters in scho ol and they appreciated seeing how the two were connected. Students recognized that the experiential nature of the activities enabled them to learn more than merely memorizing the textbook diagram. They enjoyed seeing that what they were learning had real world applications. In addition, this study explored several factors that could be associated with ate change. For other students, different factors, such as political views, may carry more weight. If

PAGE 45

45 parents play a significant role in shaping student attitudes than it may be wise to focus on engaging adults as well as students in climate change educati on. Teachers should be aware that students come into the classroom with knowledge and attitudes influenced by outside sources. Changing these attitudes may be possible with careful instruction but their existence could affect how students learn. Being awa re of the diversity of student attitudes toward climate change will help teachers structure their unit, teach more effectively, and develop a more realistic expectation for what they can accomplish in class. Future research should investigate strategies to help teachers overcome these preconceived ideas.

PAGE 46

46 APPENDIX A SQ 1 Pretest, Posttest Name: ___________________ Please help by answering the following questions. Please circle only 1 answer for each question unless otherwise indicated. 1. There is a limited a mount of carbon on the Earth. o True o False 2. A carbon atom moving from the atmosphere to a tree would be going through the process of: o Respiration o Photosynthesis o Decomposition 3. o A body of water that contains carbon o The process by which carbon m oves o Any place where carbon can be found 4. How does burning fossil fuels change the carbon cycle? o It removes carbon from the biological carbon cycle and adds it to the geological carbon cycle o It removes carbon from the geological carbon cycle and adds it to the biological carbon cycle o It adds carbon to both the geological and biological carbon cycles o It is not big enough to significantly change the carbon cycle 5. Which of these would be more effective to remove more carbon from the atmosphere? o Planting more tre es o Planting more corn o Planting more grass 6. Which of these would be more effective to remove more carbon from the atmosphere? o Planting more trees o Planting more corn o Planting more grass 7. How can trees help to slow climate change? o By storing carbon through phot osynthesis o By releasing oxygen through respiration o By providing shade to keep the Earth cool

PAGE 47

47 Name: ___________________ Section 1 Please help by answering the following questions. Please circle only 1 answer for each question unless otherwise indicated. 1. T here is a limited amount of carbon on the Earth. a. True b. False 2. A carbon atom moving from the atmosphere to a tree would be going through the process of: a. Respiration b. Photosynthesis c. Decomposition 3. a. A body of water that contains carbon b. The proces s by which carbon moves c. Any place where carbon can be found 4. How does burning fossil fuels change the carbon cycle? a. It removes carbon from the biological carbon cycle and adds it to the geological carbon cycle b. It removes carbon from the geological carbon cy cle and adds it to the biological carbon cycle c. It adds carbon to both the geological and biological carbon cycles d. It is not big enough to significantly change the carbon cycle 5. a. By trap b. average temperature c. By creating a hole in the ozone layer allowing more UV radiation in. 6. Which of these would be more effective to remove more carbon from the atmosphere? a. Planting more trees b. Planting more corn c. Planting more grass 7. How can trees help to slow climate change? a. By storing carbon through photosynthesis b. By releasing oxygen through respiration c. By providing shade to keep the Earth co ol

PAGE 48

48 Section 2 8. How informed do you feel about climate change? o Very well informed o Fairly well informed o Not very well informed o Not at all informed 9. In your opinion, information from scientists is: o Very accurate o Mostly accurate o Somewhat accurate o Mostly inaccur ate o Very inaccurate 10. In your opinion, the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated 11. Do you worry about climate change? o A great deal o A fair amount o Only a little o Not at all 12. W hich one of the following statements do you think is more accurate? o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientist believe climate change is not occurring o Most climate scientists are unsure about whether climate cha nge is occurring or not 13. temperature over the last century are caused by: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both human and natural effects equally o Only natural changes in the environment o Only the effects of pollution from human activities 14. Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of climate ch ange might begin to happen? o They have already begun to happen o They will start happening within a few years o They will start happening within my lifetime o They will not happen within my lifetime, but they will affect future generations o They will never happen 15. My parents/guardians and I talk about climate change: o Often

PAGE 49

49 o Sometimes o Never Please answer the following questions based on what YOU THINK your parents/guardians believe. If your parents agree with each other, mark only one answer. If your parents have diff erent opinions, mark both answers. 16. My parents would agree most with the following statement: o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists do not believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists ar e unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not o I do not know 17. are due mostly to: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mos tly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both equally o I do not know 18. My parents think the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated o I do not know 19. In o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o 20. What is the highest level of education completed by either of your parents or guardians? o Did not finish high school o High schoo l diploma or GED o Some college o Technical school o o Graduate/professional school

PAGE 50

50 Section 3 Now, a few more questions about you. 21. I am: o Male o Female o Prefer not to say 22. Which grade will you start in the fall? o 9 th o 10 th o 11 th o 12 th 23. Do you think you w ill attend college? o Yes o No o Undecided 24. Does your immediate family attend religious services? (Immediate family is the family that you live with) o Regularly o On occasion o Never 25. Which adjectives describe your group of friends (circle all that apply)? o Athletic o Rel igious o Artistic o Academic o Out going o Politically active o Geeky o Quiet o Popular 26. o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o 27. Have you learned about global climate change in school? o Yes o No

PAGE 51

51 APPENDIX B SQ 2 PRETEST, POSTTEST Name: ___________________ Please help by answering the following questions. Please circle only 1 answer f or each question unless otherwise indicated. 1. There is a limited amount of carbon on the Earth. o True o False 2. A carbon atom moving from the atmosphere to a tree would be going through the process of: o Respiration o Photosynthesis o Decomposition 3. o A body of water that contains carbon o The process by which carbon moves o Any place where carbon can be found 4. How does burning fossil fuels change the carbon cycle? o It removes carbon from the biological carbon cycle and adds it to the geological carbon cycle o I t removes carbon from the geological carbon cycle and adds it to the biological carbon cycle o It adds carbon to both the geological and biological carbon cycles o It is not big enough to significantly change the carbon cycle 5. Which of these would be more effec tive to remove more carbon from the atmosphere? o Planting more trees o Planting more corn o Planting more grass

PAGE 52

52 o Name: ___________________ Section 1 Please help by answering the following questions. Please circle only 1 answer for each question unless otherwi se indicated. 1. There is a limited amount of carbon on the Earth. a. True b. False 2. A carbon atom moving from the atmosphere to a tree would be going through the process of: a. Respiration b. Photosynthesis c. Decomposition 3. a. A body of water that contains ca rbon b. The process by which carbon moves c. Any place where carbon can be found 4. How does burning fossil fuels change the carbon cycle? a. It removes carbon from the biological carbon cycle and adds it to the geological carbon cycle b. It removes carbon from the geolo gical carbon cycle and adds it to the biological carbon cycle c. It adds carbon to both the geological and biological carbon cycles d. It is not big enough to significantly change the carbon cycle 5. rature? a. b. average temperature c. By creating a hole in the ozone layer allowing more UV radiation in. 6. Which of these would be more effe ctive to remove more carbon from the atmosphere? a. Planting more trees b. Planting more corn c. Planting more grass 7. How can trees help to slow climate change? a. By storing carbon through photosynthesis b. By releasing oxygen through respiration c. By providing shade to ke ep the Earth cool

PAGE 53

53 Section 2 8. How informed do you feel about climate change? o Very well informed o Fairly well informed o Not very well informed o Not at all informed 9. In your opinion, information from scientists is: o Very accurate o Mostly accurate o Somewhat accurate o Mostly inaccurate o Very inaccurate 10. In your opinion, the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated 11. Do you worry about climate change? o A great deal o A fair amount o Only a litt le o Not at all 12. Which one of the following statements do you think is more accurate? o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientist believe climate change is not occurring o Most climate scientists are unsure about whet her climate change is occurring or not 13. temperature over the last century are caused by: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both human and natural effects equally o Only natural changes in the environment o Only the effects of pollution from human activities 14. Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effect s of climate change might begin to happen? o They have already begun to happen o They will start happening within a few years o They will start happening within my lifetime o They will not happen within my lifetime, but they will affect future generations o They wil l never happen 15. My parents/guardians and I talk about climate change: o Often

PAGE 54

54 o Sometimes o Never Please answer the following questions based on what YOU THINK your parents/guardians believe. If your parents agree with each other, mark only one answer. If your pa rents have different opinions, mark both answers. 16. My parents would agree most with the following statement: o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists do not believe that climate change is occurring o Most climat e scientists are unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not o I do not know 17. are due mostly to: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natu ral changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both equally o I do not know 18. My parents think the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated o I do not know 19. o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o 20. What is the highest level of education completed by either of your parents or guardians? o Did not finish high sc hool o High school diploma or GED o Some college o Technical school o o Graduate/professional school

PAGE 55

55 Section 3 Now, a few more questions about you. 21. I am: o Male o Female o Prefer not to say 22. Which grade will you start in the fall? o 9 th o 10 th o 11 th o 12 th 23. Do you think you will attend college? o Yes o No o Undecided 24. Does your immediate family attend religious services? (Immediate family is the family that you live with) o Regularly o On occasion o Never 25. Which adjectives describe your group of friends (circle all that apply )? o Athletic o Religious o Artistic o Academic o Out going o Politically active o Geeky o Quiet o Popular 26. o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o 27. Have you learned about global climate change in school? o Yes o No

PAGE 56

56 APPENDIX C SCIENCE QUEST INTERVIEW GUIDE Name: ___________________ Science Quest Interview Thank you so much for helping me by answering these questions; your responses will be valuable to our project and evaluation of the activities. R emember that we will not use your name with any of your responses. 1. activity? Why did you like/dislike it? 2. hat was the most boring part? What made it interesting or boring? 3. that was the main idea? 4. In your opinion, how important is the information from the activity? 5. When you fou nd out how carbon related to climate change did it make it more or less interesting? Why? Would you have preferred it if we had related carbon to climate change throughout both activities? 6. Would you be interested in doing more activities on this same topi c? Why? 7. Should other students in your school be learning about this? 8. Would your biology teacher do this? What improvements could we make to help teachers do this activity?

PAGE 57

57 APPENDIX D QUOTES REPRESENTING THEMES FROM SQ INTERVIEWS Relevance So you can learn about the now, how severe it is to keep the carbon cycle going, how serious it is to keep esting because everybody hears about global warming and the polar bears and ice bergs melting, but when you connect it like that with climate change thrown around all the time, but no one ever really says on the 2 unless you know the facts a nd the statistics behind it and the cycle that it goes mate change part of the day really oomphed it up because you can think that the carbon cycle is interesting but once you add the climate change part it kind of gets personal. But it definitely just be us measuring some trees and getting relate to the carbon cycle and ho again, you can relate to it. ming and climate change before and after we realized the damages and the consequences because it wa

PAGE 58

58 been more spaced out instead of just blobbing it all at the end, maybe just lesser all and stuff and so it made it more interesting and I liked the way we did it, really explained it, like [they] said, when we went out and were taking the measureme nts, if you were taking them, we knew we were trying to figure out from that, you would need howeve been more relevant when you were taking the measurements if you knew you were trying to figure out how we can slow down or reverse the climate change. And then at the end you would obviously follow up with it, o nce you had the actual data and you could look at what you would take in and how many times Importance important carbon i s and just try to find ways to reduce the amount of carbon that a long time ago, like seven years ago, I was actually shown something abou t the ozone layer so this is kind of the same thing about global warming and hurting the environment so it made it more important knowing that just the reason behind at I can really add is just that it gives it definitely a more together. Basically what all is to find out how carbon is in the climate and it affects us and how it helps us, nion and I think that at the end after reinstating the fact that carbon is literally absolutely everywhere on Earth it gives the students a sense of importance because they realize how much carbon there really is and hat the information regarding climate change was extremely important and it made it a lot more interesting as well because it kind of set things in focus

PAGE 59

59 Understanding chart and just telling a paragraph or two about it. This act ually went more in we learn a little bit more about each cycle, and so out here I learned a little bit more t bout carbon than I know greenhouse gases so I think people will be surprised that a lot of that is from an measuring the trees how that would later p lay into the activity so I would have ou had talked about it Experiential you hands on with math you can give a problem that links the math problem to the real world, but doing it hands on in this way, it really shows you the facts up become active in helping the e Controversial esting because global warming is kind of a made it more interesting because you got to see the people who really care abou t learning about saving the environment and their effects on it, so I think if

PAGE 60

60 you were to explain that the whole activity would be about carbon in the atmosphere and the effect from fossil fuels then it would be less interesting throughout the whole activ

PAGE 61

61 APPENDIX E SSTP Pretest, Posttest Name: ___________________ graduate project. Sect ion 1 Please help by answering the following questions. Please mark only 1 answer for each question unless otherwise indicated. 1. The greenhouse effect refers to: o Pollution that causes acid rain o How plants grow o o Gases in the atmosphere that trap heat 2. Climate refers to: o Long term average atmospheric conditions o Atmospheric conditions over a short period of time o Changes in the atmosphere o Daily weather conditions 3. Which of the following is thought to be altered by climate change? (Check all the apply) o Temperature o Sea level o Extreme weather events o Ozone hole 4. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the past 500 years has: o Not changed o Increased o Decreased 5. Why do people tend to focus on carbon dioxide when discussing current climate change? o People have changed carbon dioxide levels the most o It is the only greenhouse gas o It is the only greenhouse gas people have changed 6. Climate change will have the same effects in all regions. o True o False 7. Which one of the following makes the bi ggest contribution to sea level rise? o Warmer ocean temperatures o Decreased evaporation o Melting of polar ice caps o Melting of glaciers

PAGE 62

62 Section 2 8. How informed do you feel about climate change? o Very well informed o Fairly well informed o Not well informed o Not at a ll informed 9. In your opinion, information from scientists is: o Very accurate o Mostly accurate o Somewhat accurate o Mostly inaccurate o Very inaccurate 10. In your opinion, the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generall y correct o Generally underestimated 11. How much do you worry about climate change? o A great deal o A fair amount o Only a little o Not at all 12. Which one of the following statements do you think is more accurate? o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is o ccurring o Most climate scientists believe climate change is not occurring o Most climate scientists are unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not 13. temperature over the last century are caused by: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both human and natural effects equally o Only natural changes o Only the effects of pollu tion from human activities 14. Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of climate change might begin to happen? o They have already begun to happen o They will start happening within a few years o They will start happening within my lifetime

PAGE 63

63 o They will not happen within my lifetime, but they will affect future generations o They will never happen 15. My parents/guardians and I talk about climate change: o Often o Sometimes o Never Please answer the following questions based on what YOU THINK your parents/guardians believe. If your parents agree with each other, mark only one answer If your parents have different opinions, mark two answers 16. My parents would agree most with the following statement: o Most climate scientists believe that climate chang e is occurring o Most climate scientists do not believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists are unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not o I do not know 17. ast century are due to: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both equally o Only natural causes o Only the effects of pollution from human activities o I do not know 18. My parents think the news media reports on the seriousness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated o I do not know 19. What is the highest level of education completed by either of your parents or gu ardians? o Did not finish high school o High school diploma or GED o Some college o Technical school o o Graduate/professional school

PAGE 64

64 20. agree with ? o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o

PAGE 65

65 Name: ___________________ Please circle whether you think each of the following statements is or is not supported by scientific evidence. You can also circle that you do not know. 1. s changing. Supported by science Not supported by science 2. Climate change will affect regions of the Earth differently, with some areas becoming wetter and others becoming drier. Supported by science Not supported by science 3. The impacts of climate change will not impact people or the systems we depend upon (such as food, water, places to live, etc.) Supported by science Not supported by science 4. Sea level rise is caused mostly by the polar ice caps melting. Supp orted by science Not supported by science 5. Burning fossil fuels is the only cause of climate change. Supported by science Not supported by science 6. The annual melting of arctic sea ice is an example of climate change. Supporte d by science Not supported by science 7. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that supports life on Earth. Supported by science Not supported by science 8. Most scientists disagree about the causes of climate change. Support ed by science Not supported by science

PAGE 66

66 Name: ___________________ Section 1 Please help by answering the following questions. Please mark only 1 answer for each question unless otherwise indicated. 1. The greenhouse effect refers to: o Pollution that causes acid rain o How plants grow o o Gases in the atmosphere that trap heat 2. Climate refers to: o Long term average atmospheric conditions o Atmospheric conditions over a short period of time o Changes in the atmosphere o Daily weather conditions 3. Which of the following is being altered by climate change? o Temperature o Sea level o Extreme weather events o Ozone hole 4. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the past 500 years has: o Not changed o Increased o Decreased 5. Why do people tend to focus on carbon dioxide when discussing current climate change? o People have changed carbon dioxide levels the most o It is the only greenhouse gas o It is the only greenhouse gas people have changed 6. Climate change will have the same effects in all reg ions. o True o False 7. Which one of the following makes the biggest contribution to sea level rise? o Warmer ocean temperatures o Decreased evaporation o Melting of polar ice caps o Melting of glaciers

PAGE 67

67 Section 2 8. How informed do you feel about climate change? o Very wel l informed o Fairly well informed o Not well informed o Not at all informed 9. In your opinion, information from scientists is: o Very accurate o Mostly accurate o Somewhat accurate o Mostly inaccurate o Very inaccurate 10. In your opinion, the news media reports on the serious ness of climate change are: o Generally exaggerated o Generally correct o Generally underestimated 11. How much do you worry about climate change? o A great deal o A fair amount o Only a little o Not at all 12. Which one of the following statements do you think is more accurate ? o Most climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring o Most climate scientists believe climate change is not occurring o Most climate scientists are unsure about whether climate change is occurring or not 13. emperature over the last century are caused by: o Mostly the effects of pollution from human activities and some natural changes o Mostly natural changes in the environment and some human activities o Both human and natural effects equally o Only natural changes o O nly the effects of pollution from human activities 14. Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of climate change might begin to happen? o They have already begun to happen o They will start happening within a few years o They will s tart happening within my lifetime

PAGE 68

68 o They will not happen within my lifetime, but they will affect future generations o They will never happen

PAGE 69

69 Section 3 15. I am: o Male o Female o Prefer not to say 16. Which grade will you be starting in the fall? o 9 th o 10 th o 11 th o 12 th 17. Do yo u think you will attend college? o Yes o No o Undecided 18. Does your family that you live with attend religious services? o Regularly o On occasion o Never 19. Which adjectives describe your group of friends (check all that apply)? o Athletic o Religious o Artistic o Academic o Out go ing o Politically active o Geeky o Quiet o Popular 20. o Republican o Independent o Democrat o Other o 21. Have you learned about global climate change in school? o Yes o No 22. Did you think the lecture on Monday was (mark all that apply): o Interesting o Accurate

PAGE 70

70 o Biased o Important o Boring o Incomplete o Surprising 23. Any other comments about the lecture on Monday? What would improve it? 24. What additional questions do you have about climate change?

PAGE 71

71 Name : ___________________ Please circle whether you think each of the following statements is or is not supported by scientific evidence. You can also circle that you do not know. 1. Supported by science Not supported by scienc e 2. Climate change will affect regions of the Earth differently, with some areas becoming wetter and others becoming drier. Supported by science Not supported by science 3. The impacts of climate change will not impact people or th e systems we depend upon (such as food, water, places to live, etc.) Supported by science Not supported by science 4. Sea level rise is caused mostly by the polar ice caps melting. Supported by science Not supported by science 5. Burning fossil fuels is the only cause of climate change. Supported by science Not supported by science 6. The annual melting of arctic sea ice is an example of climate change. Supported by science Not supported by science 7. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that supports life on Earth. Supported by science Not supported by science 8. Most scientists disagree about the causes of climate change. Supported by science Not supported by science

PAGE 72

72 LIS T OF REFERENCES e nvironm ental t hreat. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/1035a1Environment.pdf. Acock, A.C. & Bengston, V.L. (1980). Socialization and attribution processes: Ac tual versus perceived similarity among parents and y outh. Journal of Marriage and Family, 42 (3), 501 515. Bennett, J., Lubben, F., & Hogarth, S. (2007). Bringing science to l ife: A s ynthesis of the research evidence on the effects of context based and STS a pproaches to science t eaching. Science Education, 91 (3), 347 370. t sense does the public need to understand global climate change? Public Understanding of Science, 9 (3) 205 218. Digest of Educat io n Statistics (2011). 2009 High school transcript s tudy. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d11/tables/dt11_161.asp. Eagles, P ttitudes. The Journal of Environmental Educat ion, 30 (4), 33 37. Fortner, R. W. (2001). Climate change in school: Where does it fit and how ready are we? Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 6, 18 31. Fulljames, P., Gibson, H. M., & Francis L. J. (1991). Creationism, s cientism, Christianity a nd s cience: A study in adolescent attitudes. British Educational Research Journal, 17 (2), 171 190. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007). Fourth a ssess ment r eport. Cambridge University Press Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Kah an, D. M., Peters E., Wittlin, M., Slovic., P., Ou ellette, L. L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 2, 732 735. Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., & R oser Americas: An audience s egmenta tion a nalysis. Retrieved from http://environment.yale.edu/climate/publications/ Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., & R oser Americas 2009: An a udience s egmentation a nalysis. Retrieved from

PAGE 73

73 http://environment.yale.edu/climate/publications/global warmings six americas 2009/ Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser Renouf, C., Feinberg, G., & Howe, P. (2012). Climate change in the American mind: American attitudes in September, 2012. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Retrieved from http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/Climate Beliefs September 2012.pd f Leiserowitz, A., Smith, N. c hange. Yale University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Retrieved from http://environment.yale.edu/uploads/american teens knowledge of cl imate change.pdf Lyons, E. & Breakwell, G. M. (1994). Factors predicting environmental concern and indifference in 13 to 16 year olds. Environment and Behavior, 26 (2), 223 238. McCright, A. M. & Dunlap, R.E. (2011). Cool dudes: The denial of climate chan ge among conservative white m ales in the United States. Global Environmental Change, 21 (4), 1163 1172. Monroe, M. C., Oxarart, A., & Plate R. (In Press). Understanding s outhea stern science ducation. Retrieved from htt p://www.pinemap.org/publications/research summaries/education/Climate_Change_Education_Needs_Assessment.pdf Moser, S. (2010). Communic ating Climate Change: History, c hallenges, process and future d irections. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, 1 (1), 31 53. Next Generation Science Standards (2013). A framework for K 12 science e ducation. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165 Porter, D., Weaver, A. J., an fundamental concepts of climate change under two different c onditions. Environmental Education Research, 18 (5), 665 686. Robinson, Z. (2011). Teaching climate change in higher e ducation: Barr iers and o pportunities. In Haslett, France, Gedye (Eds.), Pedagogy of Climat e Change. (pp. 36 50). Retrieved from http://www.gees.ac.uk/pubs/other/pocc/chapter%204.pdf Shepardson, D.P., Niyogi, D., Choi, S., & Charusombat, U. (2009). Seventh grade hange. Environmental Education Research, 15 (5), 549 570 Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504620903114592#preview

PAGE 74

74 Shepardson, D.P., Niyogi, D., Choi, S., & C harusombat, U. (2011). Seventh grade ffect. Environmental Ed ucation Research, 17 (1), 1 17. Shepardson, D. P., Niyogi, D., Roychudhury, A., and Hirsch, A. (2012). Conceptualizin g climate change in the context of a climate system: Implications for climate and environmental e ducation. Environmental Education Research, 18 (3), 323 352. Tedin, K. L. (1974). The influence of parents on the political attitudes of a dolescents. The American Political Science Review, 68 (4), 1579 1592. Thomas, D. R. (2006). A general inductive approach for a nalyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27 (2), 237 246. Wise, S.B. (2010). Climate change in the c lassroom. Journal of Geoscience Education, 58 (5), 297 309.

PAGE 75

75 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Stephanie Hall grew up in Orlando, Florida and developed an interest in the environment at an early age She received her Bachelor of Arts in environmental science from the University of Florida in the spring of 2011. she continued her education at the University of Florida and completed her Master of Science in forest resources and conservation, with a certificate in environmental education and communication, in spring of 2013. After finishing her degree, she began a career in informal environmental education.