Science Learning Activation Survey


    Designed to be used with 10-14 year olds, the Measuring Activation (MA) instrument was written for use with 10-14 year-old respondents to assess an individual across each of the four dimensions of science learning activation (Fascination, Values, Competency Belief, Scientific Sensemaking). The construct is conceived as semi-malleable and therefore is amenable to intervention. However, we expect that changes in scale scores to only be present for interventions that are at least several days or months in duration, not single hour-long experiences. The survey can be used in longitudinal contexts, such as simple pre-post and repeated measures over longer periods of time. We suggest a minimum of week between pre- and post-administrations due to the length of the overall survey and the time required for changes to be observed. The survey is not intended for high-stakes decisions about students (e.g., pass/fail determination, selection of program participants) or programs. These scales can be used concurrently to measure the multi-dimensional construct of science learning activation or separately to measure individual dimensions.

    1. Fascination - The Fascination dimension scale of the MA instrument is used to measure an individual’s fascination with natural and physical phenomena at the time of the survey response. It is an 8-item scale with varying response options on a 4-point scale.

    2. Values - Values is the importance placed on knowing and being able to do science because of its utility in meeting personal goals (e.g., fixing a problem at home) and its utility to society (e.g., solving environmental problems). A learner can understand various interactions of self with science knowledge and skills and places value on those interactions.  It is an 8-item scale with varying response options on a 4-point scale.  

    3. Competency Belief - The Competency Beliefs scale of the MA instrument is used to measure the extent to which an individual is confident about their performance in science academically and professionally. It is an 8-item scale with varying response options on a 4-point scale.

    4. Scientific Sensemaking - Scientific sensemaking involves interacting with science-related tasks and text as a sensemaking activity using methods generally aligned with science, including: asking good questions, seeking mechanistic explanations for natural and physical phenomenon, engaging in argumentation about scientific ideas, interpreting data tables, designing investigations, and understanding the changing nature of science. This scale consists of 12 items.

    The website includes links to other surveys developed by The Activation Lab.


      STELAR is not the author of these materials and cannot provide information on validity or permission for use. Permissions must be requested through the publisher or authors listed below.


      STEM Content and Standards
      Youth Motivation and Interests in STEM
      Activation Lab (
      Additional Disciplines
      Bioscience - general
      Computer Science - general
      Engineering - general
      Environmental Science - general
      Additional Target Participants