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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 1312 1316

7th World Conference on Educational Sciences, (WCES-2015), 05-07 February 2015, Novotel
Athens Convention Center, Athens, Greece

The Investigation of The Effect of Visiting Science Center on


Scientific Process Skills
Ersen Cigrika*, Muhlis Ozkanb
a
Sabiha Kostem Secondary School, Bursa, 16200, Turkey
b
Uludag University, Elementary Educaiton Department, Bursa, 16200, Turkey

Abstract

Science centers are a learning environment which aims to increase positive attitudes towards science by hands on experiments.
The mission of this environment is to develop basic skills for science and keep the interest alive. The aim of this study was to
investigate the effect of visiting Bursa Science and Technology Center on 6. grade students scientific process skills. As a
consequence of the research the regularly visiting of the science center is effective on students scientific process skills. In this
perspective, science centers have an important role for making practice and development scientific skills in Science Education.
2015
2015TheTheAuthors.
Authors.Published
Publishedbyby Elsevier
Elsevier Ltd.Ltd.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.
Keywords: Science and Technology Center, Scientific Process Skills, Elementary School

1. Introduction

The idea of science promotion in the social structure and application of this idea is gradually increasing in recent
years. Today, this idea is particular making a mark in science education objectives, achievements and educational
policies. The individuals that have characteristics of the lifelong learning programs, science-technology-society-
environment relationship was required to train in science education. Science education will be provided for life-long
learning in this direction and are intended to be related with daily life. Non-school educational experiences were
necessary to be done in a systematic way as well as in school for the realization of this goal. The renewal

* Ersen Cigrik. Tel.:+4-34-543-32.


E-mail address: ersencigrik@gmail.com

1877-0428 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.405
Ersen Cigrik and Muhlis Ozkan / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 1312 1316 1313

movements in science education increased the importance outside of school (Ogawa, Loomis and Crain 2007).
Science centers were an educational environment that designed to meet this need. This interaction environment was
designed to creation of knowledge as an active ways, testing of existing knowledge, appeal to multiple senses to
learn, ensuring long-term learning, development of skills such as conducting experiments and discovery. Science
centers aims to teach discover information but not present. Science centers were a learning environment that could
everyone freely explore, make the experiment and create their information unlike Science and Natural
History museums. This free learning environment that appeals to all age groups in society increases the interest for
science and technology (Rennie and Jonston 2007). It is important to increase the level of interest in science for
lifelong learning. Students attitude and interest levels were not to decline at the end of a two-month period (Jarvis
and Pell 2005). This increasing level of interest that occurs in permanently in the life was important to adapted
science in daily life. In addition, students' regular visits to science centers have a positive increase on attitude
toward the science lessons (Radzilowicz 2008). This result is shown that science centers are carried out for school
learning. The resulting increase in interest and attitudes because of personal own efforts can be said science centers
have an important role in science learning. Information that learned in the school process, integration of experiences
in science centers benefits to individuals in terms of cognitive development (Boram 1991).

Science Centers also provide significant improvements in educational activities at the school. It has a positive
effect on meaning of school learning and the level of discussing the scientific subject. (Guisasolaa at all 2009).
Science Centers with rich interactive media, performed making in real life and permanent in school science learning.
Students' activities in science centers related to understanding better the scientific concepts and skills to explore
these concepts in meaning of cognitive sense (Dewitt and Osborne 2010).

The primary purpose of science centers to provide scientific skill and enable individuals to reach knowledge
rather than to present information. The hands-on activity with intensive interaction was provided psycho-motor and
cognitive skills. Experiment skill that included both science skills was used extensively in the science center.
Research show that learning activities in science centers was developed conducting experiment skills, and these
skills have been effected permanently (Bamberger and Tali Tal 2008). Visitors will see the cause-effect
relationships, understand the results of changing variables when completed each hands-on activity. They were the
active learner in this process. Moreover, they understand the process and method for complete hands-on activities.
Scientific process skills were plays an important role in completion experiment activities, meaning of content and
harmonizing with daily life. Scientific process skills were grouped in basic skills and integrated process skills. Basic
process skills were been; observation, measurement, classification, data recording, number and spatial relationship.
Integrated process skills were identified as controlling and identifying variables, generation hypothesis and testing,
data interpretation, work to tap the definition, defined as conducting experiments and modeling. Each of scientific
process skills used in science education as active ways. Students have to be active and make the hands-on
experiment in science education provides the positive development of the scientific process skills (Ozdemir and
Presley 2007). Science education program should provide that interactively environment an adequate level. The
increase of interaction in the learning environment has the opportunity to the development of these skills. However,
textbooks which used in our country did not include these process skills a systematic way(Dokme 2007). In
addition, the renewed science books and programs intended to gain more knowledge and attitudes but not adequate
in terms of scientific process skills (Tanrverdi 2009). Scientific process skills should be used in a systematic and
intensive for development of continuous and long-term learning. Science education programs that conducted in
elementary schools did not offer sufficient to development of these skills. The out-of-school experiences were very
limited for provided opportunities of the development of the scientific process skills. There was not any content was
found in the media which effective out of the school life, about the scientific process skills (Kavak, Tufan and
Demirelli 2006). This reveals the need for made school learning meaningful, related to cognitive and psycho-motor
area, which addresses the use of processing skills in a systematic and intensive way.

Students were constantly active learning with the complete different experiments and activities in science. They
constantly used cognitive and psycho-motor skills and scientific process skill for complete activities in a meaningful
way. The studies that related to science centers were examined the factors such as meaningful learning, attitude,
1314 Ersen Cigrik and Muhlis Ozkan / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 1312 1316

motivation, scientific communication and exploring skills. The review of the literature showed that there was not
any study about science center and scientific process skill. Aim of this study; investigate the primary school
students' regular visits to Bursa Science and Technology Center and their scientific process skills.

2. Method

Study was conducted with 50 sixth grade students with the experimental method. 25 students were in
experimental group and 25 students in the control group. Experimental and control groups were selected at the same
school in two different classes. Groups were determined randomly. 6. grade students were in 12 and 14 age group.
The number of boy and girl students of the experimental and control group are given in table 1.

Table 1. The number of boys and girls in groups


Gender
Groups
Girl Boy
Experiment Group 16 9
Control Group 12 13

Both groups' students were learning same issues in science lesson. The scientific process skill test was used to
measure students' science process skills. It has been developed by Burns, Okey, and Wise (1985) and adaptation of
Turkish was made by Ozkan, Akar and Geban (1991). This test consisting of 36 multiple choice questions as;
identify the variables (12 questions), life oriented identify (6 questions), create hypothesis (9 questions), graph and
interpret data (6 questions), research design (3 questions). It was given 1 point for each correct item. Ozkan, Akar
and Geban (1991) were calculated tests reliability coefficient of 0.82 (Tezcan and Ylmazel 2004).

Study was conducted over the six weeks period. Before the study, the scientific process skills test administered
to both groups. Experimental and control groups were determined according the pre-test scores. The experimental
group students visit Bursa Science and Technology Center in 2-week intervals. Bursa Science and Technology
Center was temporarily opened in Bursa Merinos Ataturk Congress and Culture Center for experimental group.
Each of 50 hands-on exhibits working with the active participation of students. This hands-on exhibit were related to
mechanical, electrical, electronic, light, sound, fluids, weather events, space-astronomy, communication technology,
mathematics and biology. The experimental group of students used all exhibits in a six-hour period. Science course
conducted with two groups simultaneously.

Study carried out in accordance to experimental model with control-group. Students scientific process skill was
examined in this study with experimental group students made regular visits to science centers.

3. Finding

T test was performed for the determined experimental and control groups' differences in terms of scientific
process skills at the beginning and the end of the study. Correlation analyze was used to determine the relationship
between post-test scores and Bursa Science and Technology Centers visits. T test was performed for the determined
for whether a difference between experimental and control groups in terms of scientific process skills at the
beginning of the study and after the six weeks period T test was performed again for determined a difference
between experimental and control groups. The findings of both the test results were given in table 2.
Ersen Cigrik and Muhlis Ozkan / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 1312 1316 1315

Table 2. Experimental and Control Groups Pre-Test Post-Test Scores

Experimental groups (n = 25) Control groups (n = 25)


Dependent
Pre-test Post-test Pre-test Post-test
Variable
M SD M SD M SD M SD
Scientific Process
11.72 3.56 19.08 4.62 11.20 3.96 9.16 3.62
Skills

According to the T-test results there was not a statically significant difference between the experimental and
control groups at the beginning study. Pre-tests' scores were close to both groups in each other. Scientific process
skills test was applied at the end of the study. T test was performed for comparison between experimental and
control groups post-test scores. A statically significant difference was found between the experimental and control
groups the mean of post-test scores. (p<0.001).
Correlation analyze was performed for determined a significant relationship between post-test scores and count
of Bursa Science Center visits. The findings have also given in Table 3.

Table 3 Relationship Between Science Process Skills and Science Center


Students (n= 50)
Post-test
Dependent Variable
Pearson
P
Correlation

Number of Science Center Visit 0.0001 0,721**


P<.0001
As seen Table 3. there was a statically significant relationship between students visits of Bursa Science and
Technology Center and post-test scores. As a result of high correlation coefficient, there was strong relationship
between variable.

4. Conclusion

In this study which include primary school children, science centers regular visits and its effect on scientific
process skills were investigated. A statically significant relationship found between science center visits and
scientific process skills in the study which was used experimental method. This result shows that science centers
have more effective on developing scientific process skills than schools and similar institutions.

Scientific process skills provide lifelong learning and effective on skill based learning in science education.
These skills were not developed in school environment. Science education programs did not have a systematic
structure in terms of developing these skills. Students couldnt use their scientific process skills because weakness of
schools interaction environment. The number of students, materials, free learning environment and time for making
experiment have important role on students active participation. But each student has any time to test hands on
activities in the science centers. The number of students will not be more restrictive in making the experiment. Many
hands-on specific areas allows to students for making different experiments. This area provides learning skills to be
comprehensive in each science subject and it has a great influence on students' school experiences.

Hands-on activities which was making in science centers increased students motivation (Sakari 1993).
Experimental group over a period of 6 weeks of study of at least 1, more than 3 times to visit the science center.
Each visit was been between 2 weeks. Students were conducted 50 different hands-on activities during the study.
High level of meaningful relationship was found between visits to science centers and development of scientific
process skills. This result show that cognitive process skills should more provide with science centers visit.
Increasing the number of hands-on activity can provide a positive contribution to the development of these skills.
1316 Ersen Cigrik and Muhlis Ozkan / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197 (2015) 1312 1316

Making experiments in the school have affected the scientific process skills (Bilgin 2006). However, science centers
were a specific area where in order to develop exploratory and experimental skills. Teachers and educational
institutions will provide with regular visits to these centers.

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