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By Hannah Durman, Early Childhood Education
Advisor: Kimberly McCormick
Presentation ID: 191
Abstract: There is an important need to help children feel like they are more capable of doing work in a STEM-related field as they get older. This is important because students, girls specifically, often think that having a STEM-related job is just working in a lab, that it is extremely boring, or that they aren't smart enough to do it. This research will examine a series of activities that were implemented with middle school students to help change their perceptions of STEM work. A question answered through this project is: did these activities affect male and female students differently. Through these activities, if all students are equally positively impacted by the information it could be a useful tool to implement in all classrooms. Qualitative data provided by the students in a post-survey will be examined. Open response questions by the students will be coded after grouping them by male and female student responses. Then, the codes will be analyzed between the female and male students to understand how the responses compare. It is hoped that this study will provide teachers a positive example of how to support STEM education in the classroom. Students can see themselves as capable of achieving a career in STEM. For pre-service teachers, this information can be used to implement targeted lessons for students who do not believe they are good enough to have STEM-related careers and to change their perspectives about their capabilities.