Alignment of Intervention with NGSS
The described intervention in a zoo meets several of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All three main dimensions of the
NGSS are involved: the crosscutting concepts (cause and effect), science
and engineering practices (developing and using models, constructing
explanations, and designing solutions), and disciplinary core ideas
(information processing, energy in chemical process and everyday life)
(NGSS, 2017). Participants learn about the practices of scientists and
engineers in coming up with inventions in the crosscutting field of
bionics. Students acquire knowledge that deepens their understanding
of crosscutting concepts and broadens their ideas in different scientific
fields like biology, technology, and bionics. The relationships among
science, technology, society, and the environment and their influence
on the natural world are central to our intervention.
Further Research Reading
Our research group also focused on different research questions
with this intervention:
First, knowledge acquisition due to program participation peaked
directly after and dropped six weeks later, but never fell back to pre-
knowledge levels (Marth & Bogner, 2017a). Even after periods of
twelve weeks and one year, this level of knowledge remained stable.
We have designed a knowledge questionnaire to test the acquisition
in a pre- and post-testing design (Supplemental Material Appendix G).
Secondly, motivation was assumed to be a major reason for participation: two originally hypothesized factors, intrinsic motivation and
self-efficacy, merged into one, self-confidence (Marth & Bogner,
2017b) (Supplemental Material Appendix H). Self-confidence peaked
directly after participation, but failed to sustain over a six-week time
period. No gender differences were observed at any point. Science
motivation and technology interest correlated at a low level.
Thirdly, interest in technology and the social implications of technology in different age groups was a major factor in our bionics learning
module (Marth & Bogner, 2018) (Supplemental Material Appendix I).
We applied an existing scale to 610 participants (students, university
freshmen, and teachers) and confirmed the structure of the Technology
Questionnaire (Rennie & Jarvis, 1995). Gender differences occurred in
all age groups regarding interest in technology such that male partici-
pants show more interest than their female counterparts.
Our intervention combined biology, technology, and bionics as subjects, and applied cooperative learning in group working and station-guided learning. Our station-guided learning included a classroom
module, and could be integrated in the NGSS and permitted teaching
practices in school. The aquarium module is a specific outreach zoo
module with living animals (dolphins and fish). The students enjoyed
the field days in the zoo and acquired knowledge and science motivation, as Marth & Bogner (2017a,b,c) have shown. Finally, we think
that this intervention or variations of it should be available to different
classrooms and for all types of students.
We are grateful to the BIONICUM for assistance in cooperation with
schools and to all teachers and students for participation. We also
thank the Bavarian Ministry of Education (Bayerisches Staatsministe-rium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst) for permitting
the study (X.7-BO4106/453/9, 03.02.2015).Financial support was
granted by the LfU (Landesamt für Umwelt) and the CREATIONS
Project (European Union Grant Agreement No. 665917) as well as
by the University of Bayreuth.
Bannasch, R., & Kniese, L. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,333, 417. Washington, DC:
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Barthlott, W., Mail, M., & Neinhuis, C. (2016). Superhydrophobic
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Figure 12. (A) Hearing station of dolphin communication (Landesamt für Umwelt, 2015). (B) Simplified schema of the tsunami
early warning system.