The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the effect of scientists' classroom visits on students' science career interests in rural Texas middle schools. Scientists from the Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health (PEER) program visited 1643 students in 29 rural Texas public schools. PEER scientists presented environmental health science topics that were integrated into regularly scheduled science, mathematics, English, language arts, and social studies lessons. Students' interests in science careers were positive after scientists' classroom visits. Students perceived parents or guardians, teachers, other family members, and friends as influential information sources affecting their interests in science careers. Fifth grade students had significantly more positive interests in science careers than did students in all other grades. A targeted effort is needed to incorporate more scientists' visits in sixth and seventh grade classes to counter students' waning interests in science careers during those years.



scientists, science, careers, middle school


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