Using Food as a Tool to Teach Science to 3rd Grade Students in Appalachian Ohio

Authors

  • Melani W. Duffrin,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Jana Hovland,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Virginia Carraway-Stage,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Sara McLeod,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Christopher Duffrin,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Sharon Phillips,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • David Rivera,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Diana Saum,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • George Johanson,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Annette Graham,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Tammy Lee,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Michael Bosse,

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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  • Darlene Berryman

    1. Authors M.W. Duffrin, Hovland, Carraway-Stage, McLeod, and Saum are with Dept. of Nutrition and Dietetics, author C. Duffrin is with Dept. of Family Medicine, author Rivera is with Dept. of Hospitality Management, and authors Lee and Bosse are with Dept. of Science Education East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC, U.S.A. Author Phillips is with Federal Hocking Local Schools, Little Hocking, Ohio, U.S.A. Author Johanson is with Dept. of Educational Studies and authors Graham and Berryman are with School of Human and Consumer Sciences, Ohio Univ., Athens, Ohio, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Duffrin (E-mail: duffrinm@ecu.edu).
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Abstract

ABSTRACT:  The Food, Math, and Science Teaching Enhancement Resource (FoodMASTER) Initiative is a compilation of programs aimed at using food as a tool to teach mathematics and science. In 2007 to 2008, a foods curriculum developed by professionals in nutrition and education was implemented in 10 3rd-grade classrooms in Appalachian Ohio; teachers in these classrooms implemented 45 hands-on foods activities that covered 10 food topics. Subjects included measurement; food safety; vegetables; fruits; milk and cheese; meat, poultry, and fish; eggs; fats; grains; and meal management. Students in 4 other classrooms served as the control group. Mainstream 3rd-grade students were targeted because of their receptiveness to the subject matter, science standards for upper elementary grades, and testing that the students would undergo in 4th grade. Teachers and students alike reported that the hands-on FoodMASTER curriculum experience was worthwhile and enjoyable. Our initial classroom observation indicated that the majority of students, girls and boys included, were very excited about the activities, became increasingly interested in the subject matter of food, and were able to conduct scientific observations.

Introduction

The Natl. Inst. of Health (NIH), Natl. Science Foundation, Natl. Science Board, Natl. Commission on Mathematics, and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, and the White House “No Child Left Behind Act” have clearly articulated a specific need for improved science and mathematics education for K-12 teachers and students. Education in basic science and mathematics is a requirement for stimulating in children an interest in basic research and clinical research careers (Mantzicopoulos and others 2008) as well as for empowering all children toward effective, productive citizenship. Educators are aware that improving academic performance in the areas of mathematics and science is a complex issue. Attitude toward science plays a major role in scientific achievement (Stark and Gray 1999; George 2006), and attitudes toward course work in science and scientific careers may start to be formed as early as elementary school (Farenga and Joyce 1999; Stark and Gray 1999).

In 2005, The Food, Math, and Science Teaching Enhancement Resource (FoodMASTER) Initiative began a 3-y NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project to create a curriculum using food as a tool to teach mathematics and science and to evaluate the outcomes of this curriculum. The curriculum was developed by a team of nutrition and education professionals and was comprised of 10 food topics (Figure 1) containing engaging hands-on science activities aimed at national standards for 3rd graders. Preliminary work with talented and gifted students in the 1st through 5th grades led researchers to target mainstream 3rd grade classes because of factors such as student readiness, receptiveness to the subject matter, science standards for upper elementary grades, and testing that students would experience in the 4th grade (Phillips and others 2004). One objective of the evaluation for this project was to collect data on the attitudes of 3rd grade Appalachian Ohio students toward science before and after experiencing the FoodMASTER curriculum.

Figure 1—.

FoodMASTER 3 to 5 table of contents.

Food was chosen as a teaching tool because students encounter food on a daily basis and therefore have preexisting contextual experience to create relevance for learning new science material, and, subsequently, basic research methods. Additionally, food as a teaching tool is conducive to hands-on, inquiry-based lessons, and allows for an interdisciplinary approach to learning microbiology, chemistry, biology, nutrition, and health science along with mathematics and other subjects (Calder and others 2003). The knowledge and skill development that can be inspired by this approach is limitless. Measurement and tools, data collection, application and generalizing, classifying and organization, comparative analysis, interpretation of data, chemical and physical change, observation, functions of ingredients, controlling variables, critical thinking, self-directed learning, and team building are a few of the potential knowledge and skill development areas for K-12 students using the FoodMASTER approach (Phillips and others 2004).

While many authors have discussed the effective use of food as a tool to teach science (Miller 1992; Barkman 1996; Larwa 2001), there is little quantitative data on the attitudes of elementary students towards experiences in food science (Roeder 2003). Results from this study along with other evaluation activities were used to further refine and revise the new curriculum.

Methods

Program

FoodMASTER is a compilation of projects aimed at using food as a tool to teach mathematics and science. In academic year 2007-2008, a total of 10 3rd grade teachers from Athens, Meigs, and Washington counties voluntarily participated in a 4-d summer training workshop at Ohio Univ. (Athens, Ohio, U.S.A.) and in the subsequent implementation of 45 hands-on FoodMASTER lessons during the academic year. One of the goals of the project was to assess the science attitudes of the participating 3rd grade students as a means of directing future science education that would improve attitudes toward science and increase knowledge of subject matter.

Curriculum

Each of the 45 lessons was approximately 1 h long; teachers were to integrate the lessons at any time during the academic year. The 45 lessons were broken down into 10 food topic areas (to provide a reference for teachers, each lesson was linked to national science standards). Each topic area included a proficiency test related to the topic material with multiple choice questions; these tests were given to students at the end of each topic section. A general science proficiency test, which was created by the curriculum developers with input from participating 3rd grade teachers, was also given at the beginning and end of the curriculum's implementation.

The layout of the topics and 1 h lessons followed a similar format from lesson to lesson. First, each topic was presented to students with a summary of the topic areas and objectives for the topic. Next, students moved into the topic areas for individual lessons with 1 or 2 corresponding detective laboratories. Each individual lesson followed a specific format for presenting the material. Formats for the lessons included: Did you know?, Let's find out…, Cool new words:, Reading to find out, and Doodle bugs. Each detective laboratory also followed a specific format of material, with formats including The Question, The Clues, Your group will need, and Your Challenge. Descriptions of each of the headings can be found in Figure 2. At the end of each lesson, students received a take-home page called Try this at home. These pages contained a recipe and fun facts about food and nutrition related to the laboratory.

Figure 2—.

Lessons and descriptions of the detective lab formats.

Subjects

A letter was sent to all 3rd grade teachers in Athens, Meigs, and Washington counties (N = 71) inviting their participation in the FoodMASTER project. The project investigators conducted site visits with each interested teacher to explain the details of participation in the project. Teachers interested in participating signed an agreement to express their commitment to the project and were then entered into the sample. The classrooms of the first 10 teachers to return the agreement were assigned to the intervention group.

During the 4-d training at Ohio Univ., the 10 teachers received student educational materials; they were provided with an overview of the materials, completed hands-on activities in the university test kitchens, received instruction on the protocol for the academic year, were provided all assessment tools, and completed a formative evaluation on the project materials presented. Initial formative evaluations were used to make minor adjustments to project materials.

In the beginning of academic year 2007 to 2008, teachers not participating in the project volunteered their classrooms to serve as control classrooms (N = 4). Students and parents in all 14 classrooms (10 intervention, 4 control) received explanatory materials and signed a consent form. All 3rd grade students with a signed consent form were entered into the study. Students without a signed consent form were not included in the assessment and data analyses.

Measurements and protocol

Researcher-developed attitudinal items were used to measure the science attitude of the 3rd graders. The attitudinal items, which are shown in Figure 3, were listed randomly and used a hedonic scale for responses to each item (Figure 4).

Figure 3—.

The science attitude items.

Figure 4—.

Hedonic scale.

Project investigators made an appointment with each teacher at the beginning of the academic year to collect demographic information and administer the science attitude survey (SAS) (pretest) in the classroom. At the end of the academic year, investigators returned to the classrooms to collect a set of repeated science attitude measures (posttest). Each student was assigned a subject number that was used to match their pretest and posttest. Only subjects with complete and correct pretest and posttest data were entered into the sample.

Statistical analysis

Cronbach alpha coefficients of internal consistency were used to establish the reliability of 21 items (including 4 recoded negatively phrased items). Independent t tests were first used to test differences (P < 0.05) between the intervention group and control group on the pretest science attitude data. Next, paired-samples t tests were used to test for significant differences (P < 0.05) between pretest and posttest science attitude items within both the intervention and control groups. Independent t tests were also used to test for gender differences within the 2 groups. Finally, a factorial analysis of covariance was conducted in which the dependent variable was the posttest measure of attitude towards science (the corresponding pretest was the covariate) and the between factors were the treatment (2 levels) and gender. Statistical analyses were performed using Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences 16.0 (SPSS).

Results

The SAS was issued at the beginning of the academic year to 280 students, including 212 students in the intervention group classrooms (N = 10) and 68 students in the control group classrooms (N = 4). The SAS was issued at the end of the academic year to 257 students from the original group of 280 students. The number of original students declined from 280 to 257 because some students left the schools for various reasons or because of absenteeism on the day of survey administration. Only complete and correct SAS pretest and posttest data subject numbers were matched to produce the final sample of 178 students: 124 in the intervention group classrooms and 54 in the control group classrooms. The overall rate of usable instruments was 64%.

The mean age ± standard deviation (SD) of the sample was 8.5 ± 0.8 y. A total of 87 boys (48.9%) and 91 girls (51.1%) participated. Racial/ethnic composition was 1.1% African American, 84.8% Caucasian, 1.7% Hispanic, 0.6% Asian, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 11.2% identified as multiracial or other.

Cronbach alpha coefficients of internal consistency for science attitude items were 0.86 at pretreatment and 0.90 at posttreatment. Items with significant differences using t-test comparisons between pretest and posttest scores for males and females in the control group and intervention group are illustrated in Table 1. No significant differences were found between the control group and intervention group on any of the pretest measures. Significant differences in attitudes were detected in the female control group, as their attitudes toward some science items had declined at the end of the academic year. Significant differences in attitudes were also detected in the male intervention group, as their attitudes toward some science items had also declined at the end of the academic year.

Table 1—.  Comparisons of mean pretest and posttest scores by gender for the control and intervention groups.a
ItemControl groupIntervention group
MaleFemaleMaleFemale
PretestPosttestPvaluebPretestPosttestPvaluePretestPosttestPvaluePretestPosttestPvalue
  1. a1 = super agree, 2 = agree, 3 = kind of agree, 4 = do not agree, 5 = really do not agree.

  2. bP < 0.05.

I like when my teacher shows me science experiments2.21 ± 1.372.38 ± 1.290.631.68 ± 0.902.32 ± 1.030.00*1.88 ± 1.232.05 ± 1.390.481.68 ± 1.101.91 ± 1.150.23
My family likes science2.69 ± 1.322.66 ± 1.070.533.56 ± 1.083.92 ± 0.860.183.41 ± 1.443.91 ± 1.140.02*3.50 ± 1.243.65 ± 1.200.47
My friends like science2.52 ± 1.302.55 ± 1.400.642.44 ± 1.002.96 ± 0.890.03*2.28 ± 1.282.64 ± 1.400.092.55 ± 1.222.67 ± 1.370.51
My friends like to talk about science3.14 ± 1.303.07 ± 1.280.733.40 ± 1.353.56 ± 0.960.613.09 ± 1.333.71 ± 1.170.00*3.27 ± 1.313.45 ± 1.220.31
I like to learn science at home2.59 ± 1.572.59 ± 1.400.642.44 ± 1.423.16 ± 1.460.072.34±1.463.21±1.450.00*2.95 ± 1.642.97 ± 1.610.94
I like to do science experiments at home2.07 ± 1.462.17 ± 1.420.592.44 ± 1.582.68 ± 1.410.312.16 ± 1.412.88 ± 1.580.01*2.24 ± 1.452.55 ± 1.620.22
I like to talk about science2.79 ± 1.543.14 ± 1.660.453.00 ± 1.443.60 ± 1.150.04*3.00 ± 1.623.33 ± 1.410.123.44 ± 1.313.32 ± 1.500.58
I want to be a scientist when I grow up3.48 ± 1.603.24 ± 1.680.403.88 ± 1.453.96 ± 1.270.823.41 ± 1.653.93 ± 1.360.02*3.67 ± 1.594.11 ± 1.190.09

The factorial analysis of covariance indicated some potential for treatment-gender interaction (see Figure 5) with respect to science attitudes, but the effect did not quite reach significance: F(1,173) = 3.621, P = 0.059.

Figure 5—.

Factorial analysis of covariance.

Discussion

Teachers and students alike reported that the hands-on FoodMASTER curriculum experience was worthwhile and enjoyable. Teachers and students provided valuable feedback on all aspects of the curricular experience, including ease of use, difficulty levels, and items that could be improved upon. Examples of suggestions from teachers included removing some of the hands-on lessons and changing them to digital media format and reducing the number of hands-on activities. Several teachers stated that “45 lessons are too many to try to fit in one year.” After a thorough evaluation of teacher and student feedback on the 45 hands-on FoodMASTER lessons, the FoodMASTER team formatted 23 of the hands-on lessons into an activity book. The team is currently working to change the remaining 22 lessons into a digital media format. These materials will be tested further in 3rd to 5th grade classrooms in Ohio and North Carolina.

The data collected on student attitudes toward science provide a quantitative baseline about the potential the FoodMASTER curriculum has to affect young children's educational experience in the sciences. One interesting observation is that while in the female control group there were 3 items in which attitudes worsened from pretest to posttest, in no case did this happen in the female intervention group, indicating a possible benefit of the program for girls with regard to some of the attitude items. In males, in contrast, while there were no significant changes in the control group, there were 5 attitude items on which boys in the intervention group had less desirable attitudes at posttest than in the pretest, indicating that, at least per the tested attitudes, the FoodMASTER curriculum may not have served them well with regard to these items. Moreover, while there were single attitude items that were affected for girls and boys, observations from factorial analysis did not quite reach significance.

While data is preliminary, it seems this approach is not necessarily favorable to the young male student. Studies have found that gender differences in interests for specific science courses and fields begin as early as elementary school, with girls favoring life sciences and boys preferring physical and applied sciences (Farenga and Joyce 1999; Stark and Gray 1999). Boys tend to be more interested in technology, computers, cars, atomic bombs and atoms; while girls prefer learning about healthy eating, the weather, rainbows, and animal communication (Jones and others 2000).

The quantitative data indicating a decrease in male attitudes on some items were not necessarily consistent with classroom observations. Observation concluded that the majority of students, males included, were very excited about the activities and became increasingly interested in the subject matter of food and were able to conduct scientific observations. Teachers reported that the students connected with the hands-on food activities better than traditional textbook lessons. They also reported that students were more tuned in and excited about learning during FoodMASTER time than any other time in the day. The boys and girls alike appeared motivated by the use of food-based lessons.

The inconsistency between pre- and posttest attitudinal data and classroom observations of the male student interest and participation warrant further investigation. The observed disconnect between the two may indicate that students did not equate the hands-on, active FoodMASTER curriculum with the “science” as they knew it. This may be due to the fact that, generally, much of the science elementary school children learn within the classroom is typically received by them as they passively listen to lectures and have pictures explained. Commonly, elementary school children do not equate science learning and discussion with investigation, experimentation, and activity. Therefore, it is entirely plausible that the FoodMASTER curriculum did not generate positive growth in student attitudes toward science because students perceived FoodMASTER as fun and engaging and very different from typical science instruction.

Another plausible explanation for the disagreement between the positive FoodMASTER classroom experience and the negative student male attitudes toward science is that the implementation of FoodMASTER curricula into the science classroom necessitated the diverting away of time, energy, and resources typically directed at science topics which male students typically prefer. Thus, male students later evaluated their interest in science based on topics for which they historically have less interest. Therefore, although they may have enjoyed and been engaged in the classroom experience associated with FoodMASTER, they may have perceived that the FoodMASTER curriculum was overly focused on issues pertaining to females.

The recognized inconsistency between male student engagement with FoodMASTER activities and lack of growth in attitude toward science leads the developers of the FoodMASTER curriculum to reconsider a significant issue within the curriculum. Although the connection of food and nutrition to science is explicit within the learning activities, curriculum developer realize that the connection has to made even more explicit to the students engaged with the instructional materials.

Conclusions

Long-term objectives for the FoodMASTER approach include dissemination of materials to 3rd to 5th grade teachers throughout the United States. It is the FoodMASTER team's intention to collect more attitude data in North Carolina and Ohio for comparative analysis purposes. Data from this study show promise for the FoodMASTER approach, and teachers continue to show interest and enthusiasm in using the method.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Natl. Inst. of Health Science Education Partnership Award (NIH-SEPA) for making this study possible. The project described was supported by Award Nr R25RR020447 from the Natl. Center for Research Resources. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Natl. Center for Research Resources or the Natl. Inst. of Health.

Authors would also like to acknowledge project reviewers: Jennifer Shu, Children's Medical Group, P.C.; Diana Hunn, Univ. of Dayton; Katherine Phillips, Virginia Tech; and Brenda Davy, Virginia Tech.

Authors would like to acknowledge the participating teachers who made this study possible: Ruth Al-Esaili, The Plains Elementary; Julie Hall, Barlow-Vincent Elementary; Sherry Hensler, Meigs Intermediate; Kyle Lonas, East Elementary; Robert Maher, Amesville Elementary; Sandy Needs, Eastern Elementary; Bonnie Owens, Eastern Elementary; Debbie Pratt, Eastern Elementary; Elizabeth Schwarzel, Morrison Elementary; Jan Slattery, The Plains Elementary; Howard W. Tornes, Waterford Elementary; Teresa Stoops, Waterford Elementary; Sandra Walker, Meigs Intermediate; Janet Idleman, The Plains Elementary; Julia Vaughan, Meigs Intermediate; Heather Pettit, West Elementary; April Louthain, West Elementary.

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