Tandra Tyler-Wood

Gender Differences in Conceptualizations of STEM Career Interest: Complementary Perspectives from Data Mining, Multivariate Data Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling

Data gathered from 325 middle school students in four U.S. states indicate that both male (p < .0005, RSQ = .33) and female (p < .0005, RSQ = .36) career aspirations for being a scientist are predictable based on knowledge of dispositions toward mathematics, science and engineering, plus self-reported creative tendencies. For males, strong predictors are creative tendencies (beta = .348) and dispositions toward science (beta = .326), while dispositions toward mathematics is a weaker (beta = .137) but still a significant (p < .05) predictor.

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Gender Differences in High School Student Dispositions Toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers

STEM disposition surveys were completed by 364 11th and 12th grade students attending a two-year university-based residential science and mathematics academy during fall 2012. Surveys were completed by the same classes as a post test administration during spring 2013. Major findings were that first year students tended to show a decline in their dispositions pre to post while second year students showed an increase in their STEM dispositions pre to post.

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A Retrospective Analysis of STEM Career Interest Among Mathematics and Science Academy Students

Data reflecting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) dispositions and reported reasons for interest in STEM were gathered in April 2013 from 342 high school students participating in a residential mathematics and science academy on a university campus. Student participants were enrolled in a program where finish their last two years of high school in conjunction with their first two years in college.

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Alignment of Hands-on STEM Engagement Activities with Positive STEM Dispositions in Secondary School Students

This study examines positive dispositions reported by middle school and high school students participating in programs that feature STEM-related activities. Middle school students participating in school-to-home hands-on energy monitoring activities are compared to middle school and high school students in a different project taking part in activities such as an after-school robotics program. Both groups are compared and contrasted with a third group of high school students admitted at the eleventh grade to an academy of mathematics and science.

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Measuring Student Career Interest within the Context of Technology-Enhanced STEM Projects: A Cross-Project Comparison Study Based on the Career Interest Questionnaire

This article describes Energy for ME and Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World, two Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education programs with the common goal of improving students’ attitudes about scientific careers.

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Impact of Environmental Power Monitoring Activities on Middle School Student Perceptions of STEM

Middle school is a crucial stage in student development as students prepare for a fast changing future. The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills that students acquire in middle school lay the foundation for a successful career in STEM. Moreover, most STEM occupations require competencies in science, math and logical thinking prior to engagement in problem solving. Therefore, it is vital to prepare and develop interest in middle school students to  participate in the future STEM workforce.

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Longitudinal analysis of cognitive constructs fostered by STEM activities for middle school students

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the changes found to occur pre- to post intervention in students' cognitive structures continued to persist two years later. Major findings were: 1) higher-order STEM-related constructs established during the treatment year tended to persist two years later, even as component dispositions varied, and 2) gender differences in level of persistence emerged in only one of the four higher-order constructs identified.

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Student Perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Content and Careers

Findings included that the residential early admissions students had STEM dispositions more similar to STEM professionals and less similar to traditional high school students. Analyses of disaggregated data characteristics based on attributes such as gender are also presented.

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Instruments for Assessing Interest in STEM Content and Careers

Two new instruments created to assess perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines and careers are analyzed and found to have respectable to excellent internal consistency reliability, as well as good content, construct, and criterion-related validity for the areas assessed. Cronbach's Alpha for the individual scales on the STEM Semantics Survey and the STEM Career Interest Questionnaire ranged from .78 to .94 across the eight constructs represented.

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Contrasting Perceptions of STEM Content and Careers

Analysis of baseline attitudinal data gathered from a National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers project uncovered large contrasts between the perceptions of practicing professionals and students toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and careers (Tyler-Wood, Knezek, & Christensen, 2010). These findings have been reconfirmed in a second year analysis based on new data and are reported in this paper.

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