This research was designed to investigate the status of science education in the United States, and in particular rural Kentucky elementary schools. The purpose of this study is to answer two main questions: (1) To what extent do rural Kentucky elementary schools and schools across the United States incorporate science into their curriculum, and is that prevalence consistent enough to provide basic scientific knowledge to the large majority of students? (2) Which standards, content, and teaching methods do science teachers in rural KY elementary schools, and in the United States more generally, use in teaching science? Academic research is reviewed here in order to obtain information regarding the status of the United States elementary science education collectively. Additionally, a survey was created and distributed in order to obtain responses that were more specific to rural Kentucky elementary school science education. The survey results revealed inconsistencies within the elementary schools’ science education lessons. While some teachers excelled past the recommended time; preparation; and content, other teachers did not meet the necessary requirements. As a result, rural Kentucky elementary students are not receiving equal educational opportunities. Steps are suggested for creating more equitable science-learning environments for all elementary students.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-9-2016


Martin L. Brock

Mentor Professional Affiliation


Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Curriculum and Instruction

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)