Can lab coats make your kid smarter in science?

Students at Pactous Elementary School work on a science lesson while wearing lab coats, as part of a study conducted by East Carolina assistant professor Tammy Lee. (Nicole Ford/NewsChannel 12)

GREENVILLE, Pitt County - East Carolina University researchers are wrapping up a months-long study involving four schools, 300 fifth graders and just as many lab coats.

The project, headed by ECU assistant professor of science education Tammy Lee, aimed to find out whether wearing the lab coats during science lessons would actually inspire improved learning. Previous studies have shown that when you dress up, you feel better and your mind is more willing to learn.

Lee wanted to take that "dress for success" theory one step further.

One teacher participating in the study told NewsChannel 12 she can see a marked difference in her students. They sit up straighter, take better notes and are generally more engaged in the learning process.

In terms of the final results, Lee says she and her team will analyze the data and hopes to have papers published on the findings with follow up studies scheduled by next year.

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