INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

Volume 16, Issue 3, 2020

Research Article
How Do Visitors from Different Cultural Backgrounds Perceive the Messages Conveyed to Them by Their Local Zoo?
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(3), e2216, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8335
ABSTRACT: As educational institutions, zoos provide an informal, free-choice learning environment. To understand the complex processes of learning in the zoo we must therefore take into account the visiting family’s culture. The study presented here, conducted in the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem, investigates how visitors from different cultural backgrounds experience the zoo and interpret its intended messages. We found that, ultimately, the zoo is perceived similarly by the Arab and Jewish visitors as an educational institution, although what they come there to learn is different.  Moreover, with regards to the message of conservation, neither population sees it as a major, prominent message. Despite the overall similarity in our participants’ response to the zoo as an enjoyable, cultural educational institute, there were some differences in the experiences of Jewish vs. the Arab visitors, reflected primarily in their animal preferences, and also in the types of messages that they suggest the zoo is conveying to them.
Research Article
Key Definitions of STEM Education: Literature Review
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(3), e2217, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8336
ABSTRACT: This literature review aims to identify common theme in STEM education and to find out the scope of STEM education from previous studies that would provide information to researchers as well as the stakeholders on how they should focus on the implementation of STEM education. The author creates the research questions, “What are the common themes in STEM education?” and “What are scopes in STEM education that can cover the common themes based on the literature reviews?”. The literature search in electronic databases was conducted through the Education Resources Information Center, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar using the varieties of Keyword such as “STEM education”, “STEM Implementation”, “STEM definitions”, “Instruction”, “Curriculum”, “Major”, “Career”. The author concludes that the definitions of STEM education depend on the stakeholders in the implementation. Four key definitions and three scopes that cover those key definitions based on literature reviews are found and discussed.
Research Article
Nitrate Contamination of Bottled Water: Description of a Project-based Learning Experience
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(3), e2218, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8337
ABSTRACT: The objective of this work is to describe a project-based learning experience carried out with students of an assistant training course. Students had to design a project to establish nitrate contamination of bottled water, analyse the reasons why people consume bottled water and their perception about its quality. For this purpose, a survey and a sampling plan was planned and executed. The survey was answered by 364 people. A total of 200 samples were obtained from 20-liter containers. Results were discussed and presented in a scientific reunion. Strategies to employ the data obtained and the methodology used in undergraduate courses were proposed.
Research Article
Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(3), e2219, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work is to evaluate the validity and reliability of life cycle assessment as a research methodology to measure the ecological footprint of New Zealand’s dairy production (by the dairy farming and dairy processing sectors). Environmental Input-Output Analysis was used as a macro-level life cycle assessment tool and applied to the dairy production over a period of six years. Eco-efficiencies were used as performance metrics to assess the sustainability of the dairy production. Over the six year period, New Zealand’s annual milk production increased from 11.4 to 15.1 million tonnes and its annual production of dairy products increased from 1.9 to 2.6 million tonnes. Eco-efficiencies indicate that over this time dairy farming became significantly more efficient in terms of land use (-27%), electricity use (-12%), water use (-21%) and lime use (-16%) and produced significantly less water-based effluent (-20%). At the same time fuel and fertilizer use were slightly less efficient (increasing by 2% and 6% respectively). The dairy processing industry used 21% less water and discharged 21% less effluent water. Fuel used in milk transportation was 14% more efficient. The internal validity of the research was good despite significant structural changes to the dairy processing sector but commercial sensitivity had a negative impact on the results. External validity was affected by different boundaries, different climates and different time frames for published studies but some comparisons were possible. The underlying data was generally accurate, reproducible and representative of the entire sectors with checks for anomalies to ensure good reliability.  The choice of Environmental Input-Output Analysis for the life cycle assessment tool and error analysis of all underlying data contributed to both the validity of the research method and the reliability of the data. These, in turn, give good credibility to the research findings.