Boundary Crossing: Impact of a University-STEM industry engagement on secondary students in science

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper discusses the impact of a university-industry engagement activity undertaken by student teachers of secondary science and its flow on effect to students in schools. The purpose of the activity was to assist student teachers make meaningful connections between theoretical science knowledge and its application in society. The project titled Bridging the Gap: Connecting science education with the real world enabled 36 pre-service teachers to cross the boundary of teacher education into the world of industry and back through three short industry placements. During the border crossing activity student teachers identified, translated and communicated a STEM industry problem to an authentic audience. Subsequently student teachers undertook their final teaching practicum for 8 to 10 weeks. Measures of the project’s impact were ascertained by focus group interview and questionnaire pre and post the industry visit as well as with secondary students’ pre and post the teaching practicum. The student teacher questionnaire was purpose designed. The questionnaire for secondary students comprised the PISA 2006/2015 science attitudes, engagement and motivation inventory. The percent agreement pre (n= 213) and post (n=305) the teaching practicum were compared alongside state (South Australian) and national (Australian) figures. In a matched sample (n= 108) five dimensions, science self-efficacy, science related activities, future-oriented science motivation, science teaching uses investigations and science self-concept were found to be significantly different pre to post. In the unmatched sample the mean percent agreement increased pre to post for all dimensions except science teaching uses hands on activities where it remained the same.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event18th Biennial EARLI Conference: Thinking Tomorrow's Education: Learning from the past, in the present and for the future - RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Duration: 12 Aug 201916 Aug 2019
Conference number: 18th,present%20and%20for%20the%20future%22.


Conference18th Biennial EARLI Conference
Abbreviated titleEARLII 2019
OtherIn times of constant changes, the future is a moving target - difficult to predict and prepare for. Yet, education is doing just that. At the 18th Biennial EARLI Conference and the accompanying 23rd Conference of the Junior Researchers of EARLI, researchers in learning and instruction from all over the world come together to discuss current research findings. In order to think tomorrow’s education and education research, it is crucial to relate new findings to what we already know and elaborate how this will help foster sustainable learning processes and navigating what is yet to come.
Internet address


  • Communities of practice
  • Pre-service teacher education
  • Problem-based learning
  • Science education


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