AQUADEMIA

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2022

In Progress

Research Article
An Evaluation of Best Practices in an Air Quality Student Science Project in Ethiopia
Aquademia, 2022, 6(1), ep22001, https://doi.org/10.21601/aquademia/11828
ABSTRACT: A science project as part of a student’s curriculum, which we call student science, might be the answer to two problems for a low-income country like Ethiopia: conventional science can be expensive and many students lack training in practical skills. Earlier studies have been conducted with respect to lay people (citizens or students) conducting (parts of) research (e.g. citizen science), but rarely in the context of a public university in a low-income country. A student science project at Arba Minch University (Ethiopia) has been evaluated in three steps. Firstly, best practices for student science projects are derived from the literature. Secondly, it is evaluated to what extent these best practices were executed in an air quality student science project executed by 33 groups of undergraduate students at Arba Minch University. Thirdly, the scientific contribution of the project is evaluated by assessing the quality of the data in comparison to studies in similar scenarios, as well as its relation to a knowledge gap and a problem for the community. We find that the best practices from earlier studies are feasible in the study context. Furthermore, we find a scientific contribution, as most of the students’ work resulted in quality data that relates to knowledge gaps which are a problem for the Arba Minch community. Student science at a public university in a low-income country is feasible and can, as such, serve both scientific and educational needs. It is recommended that public universities in low-income contexts implement part of their curriculum goals in such projects.
Research Article
Rural Children’s Representations of the Land
Aquademia, 2022, 6(1), ep22002, https://doi.org/10.21601/aquademia/11892
ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated children’s representations of the land while they participated on a place-based environmental education program in a Brazilian rural school. Environmental education activities aimed to foster a critical understanding of children’s contextual reality as residents of a rural settlement associated with the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST). We focused our analysis in the representations of the land, due to the symbolism it carries for farmers and activists for agrarian reform. From the analysis of the materials produced in the activities and the field notes of participatory observation, we identified three categories in children’s representations: (I) land as the provider, (II) land as home and (III) land as the biodiversity. In these categories, we observed children understand land as a constituent of their contextual reality. These results reinforce the pedagogical potential of interacting with land, particularly in the development place attachment and pro-environmental place meanings.
Research Article
Effects of Graphic Organizers on Conceptual Understanding in Organic Chemistry
Aquademia, 2022, 6(1), ep22003, https://doi.org/10.21601/aquademia/12055
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of graphic organizers on conceptual understanding of organic chemistry. The study adopted a mixed-method design involving three intact classes that were purposively selected. A quasi-experimental design and focus group interview was adopted and data was gathered using a chemistry achievement test and an interview protocol whose reliability were 0.74 and 0.73, respectively. The quantitative data were analyzed using analysis of covariance while thematic analysis, with codes generated inductively, was used to analyze the qualitative data. Findings indicated that graphic organizers enhanced students’ performance in organic chemistry. Furthermore, students’ opined that using organizers facilitated their learning. Although, reports indicated that using them as advance organizers is more tasking and deter attention during instruction. It was concluded that graphic organizers are effective tools that improved students’ performance in organic chemistry, however, their use as advance organizers should be carefully guided to ensure enhanced learning outcomes.