Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Study Critique I think that it was great that the researchers surveyed 737 students from five different high schools and they focused on having an ethnically diverse group, I think that their sample size and diversity helped make the study more accurate. I do not like that the researchers choose to completely exclude the students that stated that they had a very small group of friends or who didn't have friends because I think that having these students would have strengthened their diversity in what kind of students were interested in STEM fields.The researchers had a very diverse ethnic group of students in their study, but they did not emphasize in what ways these students contributed to the study, however they did state that asian students had the highest scores in STEM related materials.Study Critique

My QuestionAre girls in grade school being subtly influenced to stray away from STEM fields?

Implications For PracticeI believe that it is good to try to influence both genders to take more interest in STEM fields. It would be good to inform my students about the stereotypes or gender roles that may be negatively influencing their interest in their future occupations and caution them to be wary of these implications. Since girls are most affected negatively by this subject, I would try to have topics in my class that highlight successful women in STEM fields in hopes to inspire girls. I believe that educators should pay close attention to what kinds of messages they may be sending their students, they should make an effort to use diverse examples of successful people in their lessons in hopes of not accidently excluding certain groups of people.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)Friendship Groups, Personal Motivation, and Gender in Relation to High School Students’ STEM Career InterestRobnett, R., & Campbell, L. (2012). Friendship groups, personal motivation, and gender in relation to high school students’ STEM career interest. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(4), 652-664.

Study ElementsHow does high school student’s friendship groups, personal motivations, and gender influence their interests in STEM careers?They investigated the extent to which the student’s self motivation and friendship group STEM climate influenced the student's’ occupational interest in STEM after controlling for gender and other background factors. They predicted that the effects of these variables would be domain-specific; that the student’s friendship groups and the STEM climate and science motivation would influence the student’s interest in STEM fields after controlling for their friendship group’s English climate and their English motivation. They predicted that the friendship group’s characteristics would influence the variance in student’s STEM occupational interest more than their personal motivation. They looked at the friendship group importance and the composition of the genders in the group to see if it influenced the STEM occupational interests.The study consisted of 737 high school students from 5 different high schools but only 468 students were focused on because they had larger groups of friends that satisfied the requirements of the focus of the study. These students were ages 13-18 and from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They also looked at the student’s socioeconomic status, their parent’s education level, and the student’s GPA. This was a correlational study. They used surveys titled “What It Means to Be a Student” it asked questions and scales about the student’s background, academic achievement, peer group characteristics, and academic self concepts. The surveys took about 50-70 minutes to complete under teacher’s supervision. The study found that gender, science value, science expectancy, group STEM climate, and group importance were the main factors that predicted the interests that students held in STEM occupations. In the study they found that girls were significantly less interested in STEM occupations than boys were. It found that girls who valued science and had a low amount of girls in their friend group were more interested in STEM fields. It found that males that had high scientific ability and values and being a part of a group of friends that supported STEM fields had greater interest in STEM occupations.


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