In this study, a new physics education programme is specifically developed for a famous theme park in Hong Kong to provide community-based science learning to her visitors, involving her three newly constructed rides. We make innovative use of digital technologies in this programme and incorporate a rigorous evaluation of the learning effectiveness of the programme. A total of around 200 students from nine local secondary schools participated in both the physics programme and its subsequent evaluation which consists of a combination of research and assessment tools, including pre- and post-multiple-choice tests, a questionnaire survey and an interview as specifically developed for this programme, or adopted from some well-accepted research instruments. Based on the evaluation of students’ academic performance, there are two educationally significant findings on enhancing the students’ physics learning: (a) traditionally large gender differences in physics performance and interest of learning are mostly eliminated; and (b) a less-exciting ride called the aviator (instead of the most exciting roller-coaster ride) can induce the largest learning effect (or gain in academic performance) amongst teenagers. Besides, findings from the questionnaire survey and interviews of participants are reported to reveal their views, perceptions, positive and negative comments or feedback on this programme which could provide valuable insights for future development of other similar community-based programmes. Copyright © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
CitationTho, S. W., Chan, K. W., & Yeung, Y. Y. (2015). Technology-enhanced physics programme for community-based science learning: Innovative design and programme evaluation in a theme park. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(5), 580-594.
- Community-based science learning
- Technology-enhanced learning
- Amusement park
- Physics education