Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
Women are underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields at the college level and beyond. Existing research has identified pre-college and in-college factors that influence women to choose college majors in STEM fields. At the same time, trends in education have promoted the incorporation of Arts and Design, an area where women are comparatively overrepresented, into the STEM paradigm. STEM fields would benefit from a deeper understanding of the factors and experiences that have contributed to the prevalence of women in other disciplines. Survey data were collected from students at a private, Midwestern university to explore the various pre-college and in-college experiences that have influenced students' major choices in fields across the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) spectrum. These experiences were categorized by organized inquiry, individual inquiry, adult mentoring, peer mentoring, and common design process as we compared and contrasted students in STEM and Arts disciplines. We found a significant relationship between the influence of Arts-related experiences on the selection of STEM majors. Specifically, at this institution, having certain pre-college or in-college inquiry-based experiences in the Arts can positively influence a student's choice of and persistence in a STEM major. The results suggest that further study of the relationship between STEM and Arts may allow researchers, policymakers, and educators to better understand and address the gender gap that exists in STEM.
Webster-Giddings, A., & Dickson, N., & Martiros, M. S., & Mullen, S. (2018, June), Pre-College and In-College Experiences that Contribute to Women Selecting and Persisting through STEM and Arts Majors at an Undergraduate Institution Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30880
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