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How to Shape Attitudes toward STEM Careers: The Search for the most Impactful Extracurricular Clubs (RTP)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Perceptions and Attitudes on the Pathway to Engineering (4)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Fethiye Ozis P.E. Northern Arizona University

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Fethiye has been working in CECMEE at Northern Arizona University since 2014. She has received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from University of Southern California in 2005. Her doctorate work focused on modeling of bio filters for air pollution control. After graduation, she has been involved in K-12 STEM institutions both as a teacher and administrator. Her research interests include biotechnology for environmental issues, engineering education and initiatives that facilitate success of minority students in STEM related fields including STEM readiness and teacher support.

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Ali Osman Pektas

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I had been working as an Associate Professor at Bahcesehir University in Hydrology and environment department before I came to Canada in 2016. Additionally, I was coordinating Big Data and Management Ms. Program at the university. So in addition to water-related lessons (Undergraduate), I was giving Big Data and Marketing analyses lessons at the graduate level. My expertise is data modeling. My Ph.D. thesis focuses on data based watershed models including both lumped and spatial models and was completed in 2012.
I have published more than 20 scientific papers during the last 3 years and I have made 5 presentations at international conferences. In most of these papers, my main role is modeling the data and finding patterns in the dataset. In addition to teaching and research activities, during these 3 years, I have taken 5 projects, which totally have approx. 1.2 million dollars.

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Mustafa Akca

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Mustafa Akca is a Canada-based freelance data scientist. He studied Industrial Engineering at undergraduate level in Turkey and has worked as an industrial engineer for the highest-rated Turkish companies. Akca is also an expert on Excel and has published two books on Macros functions of Excel business intelligence reporting. He completed a master's program on Mathematical Engineering and wrote a master thesis on Query Processing and Optimization in Database Management System. He has also professional experiences in electricity and energy sectors, and worked as a consultant for ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) programs.

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Daniel'le April DeVoss Northern Arizona University

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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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