- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2021
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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The goal of Project STEMulate, a National Science Foundation ITEST study (DRL 1657625), was to develop, implement, and evaluate a program that fosters success in STEM for underserved and underrepresented high school students. The project was implemented at three sites of the Department of Education Upward Bound Program in Hawaiˋi. Project STEMulate delivered teacher training on Problem-Based Learning curriculum to ensure students were motivated and empowered, and to support STEM- related postsecondary educational success of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. A critical design goal of the program was to introduce teaching and learning strategies and processes that were more relevant to underrepresented youth populations than those offered in typical high schools to provide opportunities and to increase participation in the STEM study and career trajectory, something all too often out of mind and scope of these students. This study reports on three years of mixed methods summer academy data on both student and teacher learning outcomes. Teacher dispositions, evidenced through data from interviews, observations, and multi-point surveys improved in a majority of the dimensions, including teaching inquiry-based approaches, integrating technology, and STEM career knowledge and awareness. Student motivation, Science self-efficacy, and STEM career interest, evidenced from similar data sources, increasedmore »
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The Impact of Participating in College-Run STEM Clubs and Programs on Students’ STEM Career Aspirations
The United States continues to invest considerable resources into developing the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent. Efforts to shore up interest in pursuing STEM careers span decades and have increasingly focused on boosting interest among diverse student populations. Policymakers have called for engaging students in a greater STEM ecology of support that extends beyond the traditional classroom environment to increase student STEM career interest. Yet, few robust studies exist exploring the efficacy of many programmatic efforts and initiatives outside the regular curriculum intended to foster STEM interest. To maximize STEM education investments, promote wise policies, and help achieve the aim of creating STEM learning ecosystems that benefit diverse student populations and meet the nation’s STEM goals, it is crucial to examine the effectiveness of these kinds of STEM education initiatives in promoting STEM career aspirations.
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We conducted a quasi-experimental investigation to explore the impact of participation in university- or college-run STEM CPAs on college-going students’ STEM career aspirations. We administered a retrospective cohort survey to students at 27 colleges and universities nationwide resulting in a sample of 15,847 respondents. An inverse probability of treatment weighted logistic regression model with a robust set of controls was computed to estimate the odds of expressing STEM career aspirations among those who participated in college-run STEM CPAs compared with the odds expressed among students who did not participate. Our weighting accounted for self-selection effects.
Quasi-experimental modeling results indicated that participation in university- or college-run STEM CPAs had a significant impact on the odds that college-going students would express STEM career aspirations relative to students who did not participate. The odds of expressing interest in a STEM career among participants in STEM CPAs were 1.49 times those of the control group. Robustness checks confirmed our results. The result held true for students whether or not they expressed interest in STEM careers prior to participation in STEM CPAs, and it held true across a diverse range of student characteristics (e.g., race, parental education, gender, standardized test scores, and family/school encouragement).
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