Skelton, P., Stair, K. S., Dormody, T., & Vanleeuwen, D. (2014). Determining the Science, Agriculture and Natural Resource, and Youth Leadership Outcomes for Students Participating in an Innovative Middle School Agriscience Program. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(4), 53-71. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.04053
The Memorial Middle School Agricultural Extension and Education Center (MMSAEEC) located in Las Vegas, New Mexico is a youth science center focusing on agriculture and natural resources. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study of the MMSAEEC teaching and learning model was to determine if differences exist in science achievement, agriculture and natural resource achievement (ANR), leadership skill development, and interests in agriculture and natural resource and other STEM careers between students who participated in the MMSAEEC program and students at a comparison middle school. Results indicate higher overall standardized science test scores and higher scores in the scientific investigations, physical science, earth science, and science and people sub-dimensions of the science test for MMSAEEC students. MMSAEEC students also scored higher on two of the four sub-dimensions of the ANR test (agriscience and ecology). MMSAEEC students were similar to comparison school students in leadership development and career interests. Based on these results, the MMSAEEC model is a viable model for encouraging science and agriculture and natural resource achievement in middle school programs. Improvements are necessary to enhance overall achievement in ANR including higher scores on emerging ANR issues, leadership development, and interests in agricultural and natural resource careers for program participants.