Assessment of a fourth-grade PhUn Week experiment on the cardiovascular system


The United States stands to lose its scientific, economic, and technological advantage in the world if more young people are not encouraged to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields (9, 24). It is important to engage elementary school students in science because, as they get older, their enthusiasm for science declines (7, 10). The decline is more pronounced in girls than in boys (10), which can lead to fewer girls choosing careers in science. Students usually enjoy field trips to science museums where they see experiments performed. Being able to participate in an experiment is also beneficial and preferred by students, as it gives them the opportunity to gather their own data rather than watch a science demonstration (10). Elementary school students often choose science as their favorite subject, whereas their own teachers choose it as their least favorite subject when they were students (13, 16). Having a professional scientist come into the elementary school classroom and guide students through an experiment provides them with an enthusiastic role model, first-hand interaction, and authentic instruction with a real scientist (11). Teachers benefit because they learn new content and new ways to teach it (15).

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Advances in Physiology Education


American Physiological Society

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