June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
It is well known that strong extra-curricular STEM programs provide multiple arenas for students to expand on classroom curriculum, complementing STEM skills with creative thinking and open-ended problem solving. It has been shown that there is a relationship between the number of STEM club students participated in and their choice of STEM major (Sahin, 2013). Considering all the budget cuts, and additional financial problems, it gets really challenging for schools to provide a plethora of clubs. For this reason, it would be very beneficial for K-12 schools to know if some clubs are more effectively causing an attitude change toward STEM majors, and therefore help strengthen the pipeline for STEM careers. A quantitative study was designed to investigate if any specific STEM club amongst the ones offered at the XXX charter school system created a significant difference in students’ perception towards STEM fields and majors. The data were collected through an online survey of 1167 students across 6 charter schools serving grades K-12 under the same charter management organization at the end of 2015 school year. The students who are not enrolled in STEM related extracurricular activities were considered as a baseline. The data have shown that extracurricular STEM club involvement has significantly impacted the attitude towards STEM perception. The hypothesis that “there is a range of impact from clubs, and some are more impactful than others” has been disproved to show that there is no significant difference between the clubs when it comes to their impact on student STEM perception. The findings of this study are expected to help K-12 stakeholders, administrators, club organizers, and mentors to use their resources effectively.
Ozis, F., & Pektas, A. O., & Akca, M., & DeVoss, D. A. (2017, June), How to Shape Attitudes toward STEM Careers: The Search for the most Impactful Extracurricular Clubs (RTP) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28451
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