Date of Conferral
Deanne W. Otto
Although careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have expanded in the United States, science literacy skills for K-12 students have declined from 2001 to 2011. Limited research has been conducted on the impact of science enrichment programs on the science literacy skills of K-12 students, particularly in marine science. The purpose of this study was to describe the impact of a marine science summer enrichment camp located in the eastern region of the United States on the ocean literacy skills of middle school students who participated in this camp. Weimar's learner centered teaching approach and the definition and principles of ocean literacy formed the conceptual framework. The central research question focused on how a marine science summer enrichment camp impacted the ocean literacy skills of middle grade students. A single case study research design was used with ten participants including 3 camp teachers, four students, and 3 parents of Grade 6-8 students who participated this camp in 2016. Data were collected from multiple sources including individual interviews of camp teachers, students, and parents, as well as camp documents and archival records. A constant comparative method was used to construct categories, determine emergent themes and discrepant data. Results indicated that the marine science camp positively impacted the ocean literacy skills of middle school students through an emphasis on a learner centered instructional approach. The findings of this study may provide a positive social impact by demonstrating active science literacy instructional strategies for teachers which can motivate students to continue studies in science and science related fields.