June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.660.1 - 26.660.15
Enhancing Knowledge, Interest and Self-Efficacy in STEM through a Summer STEM Exploration ProgramMany researchers believe that career interests and career plans start developing as early asmiddle school. However, high school students often passively eliminate technical career optionswith course choices that do not meet the needs of a STEM academic path. Consequently,providing career exploration programs in the last two years of high school is often too late togive students time to adequately prepare for further study in STEM fields, which may potentiallyresult in depleting the ranks of future STEM majors especially in underrepresented populations.Researchers further believe that fostering an early interest in STEM, supporting student successand confidence in STEM, and providing an improved understanding of STEM career paths willencourage students to pursue STEM careers at a time when they can still make academic choicesthat will enhance their potential for future success.In an effort to increase subject matter knowledge, interest and self-efficacy in STEM, a federallydesignated Hispanic-serving community college in the San Francisco Bay Area developed theSTEM Institute, a three-week program for current high school freshmen and sophomoresinterested in exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The programintroduces STEM through experiential learning using hands-on/real-world projects,classroom/lab instruction, speakers, on-campus field trips and workshops in five STEM fields ofstudy.This paper describes the evolution of the STEM Institute, including challenges encountered andthe strategies employed to overcome those challenges. It also examines the effect that theprogram had on student interest and self-efficacy in STEM, employing non-parametric statisticaltests to compare repeated measurements of student interest and self-efficacy. Program impact onthe subject matter knowledge of student participants is also discussed. The paper furtherhighlights best practices that have been developed at the STEM Institute host college to assistother institutions in developing a similar program to increase subject matter knowledge as wellas interest and self-efficacy in STEM.
Burwell-Woo, C., & Lapuz, R., & Huang, T., & Langhoff, N. (2015, June), Enhancing Knowledge, Interest, and Self-Efficacy in STEM Through a Summer STEM Exploration Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23998
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