Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Paoze Thao


This capstone research focuses on the impact of hands-on environmental science lessons on middle school students learning. In this research project, besides conducting an extensive literature review, I collaborated with five middle school educators in a local school district to understand how student engagement and retention are affected by hands-on science material and surveyed 151 7th-grade students. This senior capstone explores the individual experiences of middle school students, their relationship to science education, and possible future implications of their learning. Many aspects of a student’s personal and educational life can positively or negatively impact their relationship with science and their interaction with the natural world. The result findings indicate that providing meaningful hands-on environmental science lessons with relevant content and instructions could make a long-lasting impact on middle school students.