Paper Summary

Direct link:

Nurturing Science Teaching Career Aspirations in a Museum Volunteer Program

Thu, April 8, 3:00 to 4:00pm EDT (3:00 to 4:00pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Science Teaching and Learning Roundtable Sessions


There is a growing need for science educators and communicators who can support public understanding of complex science issues. Furthermore, little is known about how to nurture career aspirations for teaching science. This study examined the influence of youth volunteer experiences on career aspirations through a lens of science identity. Twenty-one high school participants were interviewed about volunteer experiences at a science museum. Data were coded for factors related to science identity (recognition, competence, and performance). Results showed that the museum program contributed to the development of youth volunteers’ science identities as well as sub-identities as communicators, educators, and teachers. These results suggest that museum volunteer programs may be places to cultivate the next generation of science educators and communicators.