Community-based science learning: Developing a technology-enhanced physics programme for Ocean Park and evaluation

Siew Wei THO, Yau Yuen YEUNG, Ka Wing CHAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

According to the recent world trends of educational reform, community-based learning or out-of-school learning experience is particularly important to link up schools with the communities for effective learning of science subjects in schools. The primary reason is that the local community can provide some unique context such as games rides in amusement or thematic park which are embedded with certain cognitive, affective and psychomotor implications for the students. In this study, a new physics education programme is specifically developed for the Ocean Park as linked with some innovative use of technology and the subsequent evaluation of the programme is conducted. In our curriculum design, this new programme is composed of two main types of activities, namely learning physics principles via the new Ocean Park games rides and the innovative inquiry activities in practical workshop. The new Ocean Park rides in the outdoor environment consist of Whirly Bird (this ride also known as aviator and it moves in circular over 30 meters in the air), Bumper Blasters (this ride also known bumper car and it bumps and jolts with other cars) and Hair Raiser (this ride also known as roller coaster and it plunges and loops around with your legs in the air). In the classroom environment, a technology-enhanced practical workshop is conducted to simulate and analyse the games rides of the amusement park for bridging the gap between school textbook knowledge and community-based experience. For evaluation study, a combination of research tools which include questionnaire survey, test of misconception and interview are specifically developed or adopted from well-accepted research instrument as available in the literature. The targets are physics students from several Hong Kong high schools who have applied to participate in this new physics program in the Ocean Park. The evaluation of the learning effectiveness of this physics programme is based on students’ attitude and perception towards those activities and their understanding of certain physics principles covered in this programme through their experiential learning and some innovative activities on real experiments. Besides, we shall assess if these activities can promote effective, meaningful and fun physics learning to those participants. Educational implications of our evaluation will be discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Citation

Tho, S. W., Yeung, Y. Y., & Chan, K. W. (2013, July). Community-based science learning: Developing a technology-enhanced physics programme for Ocean Park and evaluation. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of East-Asian Association for Science Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.

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