Thesis Title

An Evaluation of Knowledge Gains and Retention Rates of 5Th Grade Students After Attendance at a Watershed Festival

Date of Graduation

Spring 2008


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Janice Greene


Environmental education is becoming more important, with an ever expanding human population having a greater impact on the environment than ever before. One particular resource, that is facing increasing peril, is the water supply. The water supply is extremely important in the Ozarks due to the karst topography. The James River Basin Partnership is the local non-profit organization that sponsors the Watershed Festivals, which aim to educate 5th graders about the issue of water quality in their local area. In order to quantify the effect the Watershed Festivals are having on the students who attend, three identical surveys were given to the students: a pre-test (n=347), a post-test (n=679), and a retention-test (n=207). The pre-test was given prior to the students attending the Watershed Festival, the post-test immediately afterwards, with the retention-test taken two months after. Students scored significantly higher after attending a Watershed Festival, with a slight decrease after the two month retention period, though still significantly higher than the pre-test scores. Most questions seemed to follow this trend when look at individually. The students' environmental awareness also increased significantly after attending the Watershed Festival.


water quality, environmental education, Watershed Festival, James River Basin Partnership, evaluation

Subject Categories



© Dylan J. Allen


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