Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Joseph L. Polman, Ph.D.


Saul, E.W.

Ding, C.

Wilson, J.


In a mixed-methods study of high school student participants in the National Science Foundation-funded Science Literacy through Science Journalism (SciJourn) project, the new Youth Engagement with Science & Technology (YEST) Survey and classroom case studies were used to determine program impact on participant engagement with science and technology as well as describe the experience of SciJourn students. Student engagement with science and technology is considered as a construct made up of three components: student action, interest, and identification. Analysis of quasi-experimental administration of the (YEST) Survey resulted in rejection of the hypotheses that SciJourn high school student participants would exhibit higher engagement survey scores than their non-participant peers and also that students taught by teachers considered to be high level implementers of SciJourn would score higher than peers in classes of lower-level implementers. Three collective case studies of high school science classrooms involved in both the consumption and production of original science news illustrated the diverse roles of teacher-implementers and the resulting affordances and constraints allowed through the participation structures resulting from their project implementation choices. On an individual student level, case studies provided insight into the complexity of the engagement construct, and the potential for gains in engagement especially when student choice and long term participation in SciJourn were supported. Contrasts between the post-SciJourn engagement scores as measured by the YEST Survey and qualitative data support the conclusion that a response-shift bias occurred especially among students in high implementation classrooms, due to greater student specificity in the nature of what they consider to count as science in their everyday lives. The complex nature of engagement as exhibited by classroom case study participant experiences is presented in a new interactive model of the interplay between interest, action, and identification, into which students may enter from a variety of points, and which drive one another.

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