– The extent to which parents are positively oriented toward science significantly shapes their children’s attitudes toward science. Furthermore, between 7th and 10th grades, students with parents holding positive orientations toward science are more likely to sustain positive attitudes toward science.
– Parents whose orientation was more positive toward science seem to be able to sustain their children’s interest and sense of ability in science when compared to other parents and their children.
– Students who report better science grades, more confidence in the scientific community, and more cultural capital, tend to have more proscience attitudes.
– The authors did not observe any statistically significant associations between parents’ religiosity and political orientation with students’ attitudes toward science.
– Visualizing the attitude distributions by districts reveals a strong school effect in seventh-grade attitudes. The authors found that students from certain schools had very similar attitudes toward science, relative to the distribution over the entire state. This effect was not seen for the tenth grade where there is much higher variation in individual attitude scores.
– Since the foundation for most adults’ interactions with science develops in the K-12 environment, the authors demonstrate that the foundation, as expressed in adulthood, may directly affect the ways the next generation of students interacts with science.