Focusing the Camera Lens on the Nature of Science: Evidence for the Effectiveness of Documentary Film as a Broader Impacts Strategy

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Focusing the Camera Lens on the Nature of Science: Evidence for the Effectiveness of Documentary Film as a Broader Impacts Strategy Powered By Docstoc
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Description: Scientists' involvement in education has increased in recent years due to mechanisms such as the National Science Foundation's "broader impacts" expectations for research projects. The best investment of their effort ties in sharing their expertise on the nature and processes of science; film is one medium by which this can be done efficiently. In this article, we illustrate this approach through the development of Upward and Outward: Scientific Inquiry on the Tibetan Plateau, a 20 min educational documentary film for school science classrooms and teacher professional development. The film portrays the intellectual and human processes of science as seen through the work of an international team of scientists on an interdisciplinary geoscience research project. Evidence gathered from pre/post classroom assessment responses by 350 students in grades 6-14 indicates that students absorb a variety of messages about the intellectual and social processes of science. These ideas contrast with their prior knowledge, counter common stereotypes of science and scientists, and broaden students' notions of the scientific method. The film aligns with national and state standards on scientific inquiry and the nature of science. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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