Motivating Bilingual Hispanic Youth Towards STEM & STEM Cognate Study and Careers (MIO STEM)
More than 200 students each year will complete a game-infused journey designed to help middle-school Latino students identify STEM passions, explore possible professions, pursue career pathways, and closing with planning futures.
The Arizona State University Center for Games and Impact will collaborate with VME (Vme Media), E-Line Media, and HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities) to develop a project designed to engage Hispanic middle-school students in learning about STEM careers. The project will initially stimulate career interest as youth reflect on game play using the Career Illumination Tool. They will then work through a number of targeted quests using a bilingual, game-infused platform, followed by submitting an application expressing interest in pursuing a STEM focused degree program, and culminating in a HACU tour at universities and community colleges in the Phoenix and San Antonio areas. Students and their parents will be recruited through: (1) nationally broadcast Vme television (Spanish-language public television) episodes and web-based shorts in Spanish and English introducing STEM careers and the college application process and (2) community-level outreach. The project will involve approximately 1300 middle-school students in the Phoenix, AZ and San Antonio, TX school districts, as well as participants from other regions reached by media outreach.
An online guidebook will facilitate the adoption of the program by other communities across the nation. The project will develop a web presence on the Vme Television website, and will use an original television series to promote the program among a Hispanic audience of more than 11 million viewers. The project and its resources will be further disseminated through presentations at conferences, journal article submissions, outreach to Hispanic-serving institutes of higher education, and the use of social media to target Latino students. This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand how online resources, gaming and media increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
The project design is based on a growing body of research that documents the successful use of technology in developing student interest and engagement in STEM activities. A mixed methods approach will be used to examine research questions that will look at the communities formed by participants, reciprocal influences of the project on participants and their caregivers and teachers, and student uptake of concepts and resources along with the effects on their self-efficacy and interest in STEM career pathways. The project will access data analytics (user data) to determine how users are participating and use these interactions to understand what areas and resources are drawing students in. The project will further analyze STEM learning from games, self-efficacy, and attitudes towards STEM careers using validated instruments.