June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Women in Engineering
miniGEMS (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science) is a free two-week summer STEAM and programming camp for middle school girls launched in 2015. The goal of miniGEMS is to address the female gender gap and introduce more female students into STEM fields through project-based learning experiences. This study utilized mixed methods to identify the effectiveness of a STEM enrichment summer camp and explore how middle school girls’ STEM attitudes changed after participating in miniGEMS. A pre- and post- survey was conducted with 92 students in grades six through eight to measure their self-reported attitudes in mathematics, science, engineering and technology. The results showed a significant increase in campers’ self-perceived attitude in mathematics. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 campers to explore how the camp experiences altered attitudes toward STEM study and impacted their career interest. Interview findings indicated (1) campers had opportunities to develop STEM, robotics, and programming knowledge through various hands- on activities which made the camp fun and interesting, (2) teamwork and single-gender learning environment helped campers become more open to STEM subjects, and (3) coding and programming were two major themes in miniGEMS that affect campers’ career choices and interests in advanced studies in STEM.
Wang, C., & Frye, M. (2019, June), miniGEMS 2018: A Mixed Methods Study Exploring the Impact of a STEAM and Programming Camp on Middle School Girls’ STEM Attitudes Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33113
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