Master's Thesis (Open Access)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were implemented to increase students' scientific literacy, shifting the focus from teacher-centered to student-centered learning (NGSS Lead States, 2013). One result of this shift has been the increased use of project-based learning where learners can discover their own knowledge through a series of problem-solving tasks and projects. Student-developed models (i.e., three-dimensional models) is an application of projectbased learning that has shown to increase students' science literacy in higher grades (Bell, 2010; Krajcik & Merritt, 2012). This study investigated the effectiveness of utilizing student-developed models among middle school students to create a deeper understanding of key concepts (i.e., analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations, and engaging in arguments from evidence) to improve scientific literacy. The study used a quantitative nonequivalent two-group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design. The treatment group participated in designing, testing, and redesigning a student-developed model car made from various household materials. The control group participated in standard science instruction (i.e., laboratory experiments, online interactives, and note taking). After a four week learning sequence for Newton's Laws of Motion, the data was analyzed using independent and paired t-tests. The data concluded a statistically significant difference for the treatment group when compared to the control group. Future studies should measure motivation, as the engagement from the treatment group could have been a determining factor in the founding results.
Reeves, Constance, "Project-Based Learning with Student-Developed Models in the NGSS Curriculum" (2019). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 637.