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

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

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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. Analysis of these data indicated that factors influencing student interest in STEM and STEM careers include the student’s own self-motivation, support from a parent or family member, science and mathematics coursework offered in school, and exposure to a high quality, motivating teacher. STEM career interest can be reasonably well predicted from a linear combination of four measures of STEM dispositions, but weightings of predictors and total variance accounted for differ for females when compared to males.

Keywords: education, STEM education

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2015