Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Eric Hagedorn


In the last 20 years attitudes towards science and science classes in K-12 education have been an important topic of investigation due to the decreasing number of students choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related careers, and the increasing need for STEM prepared workers to cover the job demands of the future. The purpose of this study is to confirm a previously measured difference in scientific curiosity between middle school students in El Paso and in Ciudad Juarez, and to collect additional data that might tell us what the possible factors or reasons for this difference are. Our sample consists of 156 middle school students from Juarez public schools, and 448 middle school students from El Paso public middle schools. The Children's Science Curiosity Scale of Harty & Beall (1984) will be used to measure the curiosity level. Additionally, the students will be asked to respond to "Why do you like or dislike science?" Our results show that those obtained by Ortiz (2006) in a similar study persist but with a reduction of standard deviations. The percentage of students that state that they do not like science in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso are 9% and 14%, respectively. The most common reason to like science among students in Ciudad Juarez was related to the topics covered in class, and among students in El Paso was related to the experiments and hands-on activities done in class. After analyzing contingency tables with chi-squared tests and calculating the respective contingency coefficients, it is safe to say that even though relationships between the reasons to like or dislike science and country exist, these relationships are not strong. Other results, limitations, and future research also are discussed.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

44 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Karla Carmona Miranda