Thermal Imaging Cameras as catch factors for students' current interest
Generating interest in different school subjects is one educational goal. Interest has an impact on learning processes and learning outcomes. Teachers can only trigger the situational interest of students e.g. by using attractive devices and media, or designing an interesting environment. With the advancing technological developments of recent years, the use of Thermal Imaging Cameras in school has become possible. These make phenomena and processes visible which are normally invisible. The
... invisible. The cameras show a two-dimensional temperature profile of an observed region. Temperature changes due to certain processes like friction can been seen, so that students are fostered to gain knowledge about these processes. The goal of this study is to examine whether experimenting with Thermal Imaging Cameras increases the current interest in students, which aspects of current interest – emotional, value-related, epistemic – are addressed, and which characteristics of the camera functions as a catch factor. Therefore, 53 students from the 7th grade were asked, regarding their current interest, the three dimensions of the current interest and attractive features of Thermal Imaging Cameras in part in a pre-post-design. The results indicate that the camera did appeal to them. The students were particularly interested in the fact that the invisible was made visible. However, it did not succeed in increasing their current interest. It also turned out that the students appreciated doing experiments independently of the different media.