An Impression That Lasts: Assessing the Impact of a Co-Curricular Service-Learning in Chemistry

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Conference Proceeding

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Co-curricular service-learning has increasingly attracted participants from students as it can enrich their experience of learning chemistry, among others. An example is Kimikamahika, wherein chemistry students from a Catholic university in the Philippines volunteer in public schools, orphanages, daycare centers, and local organizations to promote interest in chemistry among children by demonstrating eye-catching experiments. However, studies are few on the lasting impression of co-curricular service-learning among students compared to their peers without such community engagement. Hence, this mixed-methods study assessed the long-lasting impact of Kimikamahika on its past volunteers vis-a-vis their peers not part of this service-learning in terms of gains in course-related skills, real-world application, career opportunities, leadership skills, and community engagement. A one-tailed Mann-Whitney U Test (α = 0.05) of the survey responses revealed significantly higher ratings given by 54 volunteers of Kimikamahika in the acquisition of course-related skills (p = 0.033), application of classroom learning to real-world situations (p = 0.045), and participation in community engagement (p = 0.013) against the ratings of 24 peers not involved in this service-learning. A thematic analysis of interviews with thirteen past Kimikamahika volunteers further showed the lasting impression of a co-curricular service-learning on their academic, personal, professional, and civic life.

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