the within-subjects factor was Time (pretest vs. posttest). A significance level of 0.05 was assumed for all tests. None of the Group
main effects was found to be significant, and thus the experimental
and control groups are combined in the results reported below
except where noted otherwise. A significant main effect of Time
was found for all scales, in some cases representing an increase in
scores from pretest to posttest and in other cases a decrease (see
below). However, there were no significant interactions between
Group and Time, suggesting that both groups exhibited similar
changes in science attitudes by simply being enrolled in BIOL 100.
A significant increase from pretest to posttest was found for four
of the TOSRA scales: Social Implications of Science (F1, 172 = 18.11,
P < 0.0001), Normality of Scientists (F1, 172 = 277.02, P < 0.0001),
Enjoyment of Science Lessons (F1, 172 = 24.77, P < 0.0001), and Leisure Interest in Science (F1, 172 = 45.14, P < 0.0001). There was also
a significant increase in total TOSRA score from pretest to posttest
(pre M = 119.22, post M = 121.93; F1, 172 = 11.06, P = 0.001). A significant decrease from pretest to posttest was found for the other
three TOSRA scales: Attitude to Scientific Inquiry (F1, 172 = 45.09,
P < 0.0001), Adoption of Scientific Attitudes (F1, 172 = 21.08,
P < 0.0001), and Career Interest in Science (F1, 172 = 42.51, P < 0.0001).
Further analysis was performed to examine the amount of attitude change for students with differing attitudes toward science at
the beginning of the class. Students (experimental and control combined) were divided into the following three groups based on their
pretest total TOSRA score: Low TOSRA (62–110, n = 55), Medium
TOSRA (111–124, n = 56), and High TOSRA (125–163, n = 63).
Mean pretest and posttest scores for each of these three groups are
shown in Figure 2. A 3 × 2 mixed-design ANOVA was conducted
with TOSRA Group (Low, Medium, and High) as between-subjects
factor and Time (pretest vs. posttest) as within-subjects factor.
Results indicated significant main effects for both TOSRA Group
(F2, 171 = 204.22, P < 0.0001) and Time (F1, 171 = 11.23, P < 0.001).
The interaction between TOSRA Group and Time, however, did not
Follow-up pairwise comparisons revealed significant pretest to
posttest gains in total TOSRA score only for the Low and Medium
TOSRA groups (again, experimental and control combined). The
lack of improvement for the High TOSRA students could possibly
be explained as a ceiling effect, as these students already had quite
positive attitudes toward science at the beginning of the semester.
To supplement the TOSRA data, students in the experimental
group only were asked to respond, in writing, to six open-ended questions (Table 1). Although student responses varied, their experience
with their PS mentor and the difficult nature of science in conducting
experiments were specifically noted. Also worth noting is that of the
students who scored their experience with PS as neutral or negative,
50% specifically mentioned experiencing difficulties with their mentor.
Student responses to some of the open-ended questions appeared
to be contrary to TOSRA results. For example, 88% of students gave a
positive or “same” response to the open-ended question about their
interest in science as a career (Table 1) while pre-to-post TOSRA
results indicated a significant decrease in science career interest.
High school teachers who participated in the PS project were
asked to provide written self-reflections regarding the impact of the
PS experience on their students. Teachers’ comments were positive
regarding the nature and type of impact that PS participation had on
• “Students took more ownership and pride in their respective
Figure 2. Mean total TOSRA scores at pretest and posttest for
research projects because of the mentors.”
• “With the science mentors, my students had better research
ideas than ever before.”
• “Mentors were helpful to teachers as they gave students more
help than just the high school teacher.”
• “PS is a great way to bring scientists into the classroom when
exposure to outside, career scientists is limited.”
• “More than the inquiry part of PS, the biggest impact on stu-
dents was mentoring by scientists.”
• “Many of my students gained insight into what research and
science really is.”
• “The communication piece was a major benefit that PS provided.”
• “PS experience helped students with answering questions on
• “Students learned team-building and communication skills.”
students in the Low, Medium, and High groups.
Table 2. High school teacher comments regarding
the impact on students of participating in the
• Students took more ownership and pride in their respective
research projects because of the mentors.
• With the science mentors, my students had better research
ideas than ever before.
• Mentors were helpful to teachers as they gave students
more help than just the high school teacher.
• PS is a great way to bring scientists into the classroom
when exposure to outside, career scientists is limited.
• More than the inquiry part of PS, the biggest impact on
students was mentoring by scientists.
• Many of my students gained insight into what research and
science really is.
• The communication piece was a major benefit that PS
• PS experience helped students with answering questions
on the ACT.
• Students learned team-building and communication skills.