TY - GEN

T1 - Measuring the impact of an elementary school outreach programon students' attitudes toward mathematics and science

AU - Lundstrom, Kelly L.

AU - Moskal, Barbara M.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - It is well known and documented that students in the United States are performing poorly in mathematics and science when compared with students from other countries. Yet, the advancement of our technology rich society requires that students develop advanced skills in these subjects by the conclusion of their formal education. Students' attitudes with respect to mathematics and science are known to be developed at a young age and become entrenched by middle school. In an effort to encourage young students to eventually pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Colorado School of Mines has developed the Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative. This engineering outreach program is being implemented in five minority elementary schools located throughout the Denver area, each school including grades kindergarten through fifth. One measure of impact of this program is an attitudes survey in mathematics and science. This article presents a study that seeks to statistically examine students' attitudes toward mathematics and science at a very young age by comparing the attitudes of elementary students who have participated in the Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative for one year versus students who have not, but are in the same school district. As a result of this study, there is statistical evidence to support that there is a higher proportion of positive attitudes toward science for students who have spent a year in the engineering outreach program when compared with students who have not been in the program. Interestingly, there is not statistical evidence to show that the proportion of positive attitudes toward mathematics is different for students who have been in the program when compared with students who have not been in the program.

AB - It is well known and documented that students in the United States are performing poorly in mathematics and science when compared with students from other countries. Yet, the advancement of our technology rich society requires that students develop advanced skills in these subjects by the conclusion of their formal education. Students' attitudes with respect to mathematics and science are known to be developed at a young age and become entrenched by middle school. In an effort to encourage young students to eventually pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Colorado School of Mines has developed the Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative. This engineering outreach program is being implemented in five minority elementary schools located throughout the Denver area, each school including grades kindergarten through fifth. One measure of impact of this program is an attitudes survey in mathematics and science. This article presents a study that seeks to statistically examine students' attitudes toward mathematics and science at a very young age by comparing the attitudes of elementary students who have participated in the Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative for one year versus students who have not, but are in the same school district. As a result of this study, there is statistical evidence to support that there is a higher proportion of positive attitudes toward science for students who have spent a year in the engineering outreach program when compared with students who have not been in the program. Interestingly, there is not statistical evidence to show that the proportion of positive attitudes toward mathematics is different for students who have been in the program when compared with students who have not been in the program.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029071591&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:85029071591

SN - 9780878232413

T3 - ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

BT - 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

PB - American Society for Engineering Education

Y2 - 10 June 2012 through 13 June 2012

ER -