alexa Astrobiology outreach and the nature of science: the role of creativity

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Astrobiology outreach and the nature of science: the role of creativity

There is concern in many developed countries that school students are turning away from science. However, students may be choosing not to study science and dismissing the possibility of a scientific career because, in the junior secondary years, they gain a false view of science and the work of scientists. There is a disparity between science as it is portrayed at school and science as it is practiced. This paper describes a study to explore whether engaging in science through astrobiology outreach activities may improve students' understanding of the nature and processes of science, and how this may influence their interest in a career in science. The results suggest that the students attending these Mars research-related outreach activities are more interested in science than the average student but are lacking in understanding of aspects of the nature of science. A significant difference was detected between pre- and posttest understandings of some concepts of the nature of science.

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