STEMChoice: An examination of program evaluation data in a STEM-centered, inquiry-based program

Terrance Denard Youngblood, Ibrahim Halil Yeter, Casey Michael Williams, Hansel Burley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

On a national scale, there has been a call for improved instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at all educational levels. In addition, claims have been made regarding the lack of a viable STEM workforce in certain critical areas. Consequently, many resources have been devoted to encouraging and motivating students in the secondary levels to pursue a STEM-related career. This paper is centered on the efforts of an inquiry-based, STEM educational program that uses the conception, design, production, and deployment of rockets as a way to teach and improve students STEM-related workforce skills. The target population included high school students in one state in the southern region of the United States. Program evaluation data were collected via a student questionnaire grounded on two theories: Social Career Cognitive Theory (SCCT) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Based on program data collected during the 2014-2015 academic year, this paper will examine the effectiveness of the program in motivating students to pursue a STEM career, using the theoretical lens of Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). The following research question will be addressed: which factors help predict student intentions to pursue a STEM career upon graduation of high school? A stepwise multiple regression model was established to predict students' inclination to choose a STEM career. Findings suggest a viable model which accounted for the most amount of variability in students' inclination to pursue a STEM career, R =.40, F (4, 444) =20.885, p <.01. The predictors within this model were focused on teamwork, overall student evaluation of the program, and problem solving.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2016-June
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016

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