-MESA participation increases students’ odds of taking AP STEM courses in high school and their aspirations for declaring a STEM major in college.
– These effects are driven primarily by black and white students, respectively.
– Latino and Asian students remain largely unaffected by MESA partiipation.
– MESA may improve black students’ high school STEM engagement but may have little impact on black and Latino students’ STEM outcomes in college.
The K-16 STEM Archive is a searchable database. You can search it by typing in the search field above or filter it using the options in the sidebar. Abstracts are sorted by most recent publication year and primary author’s last name. Read more >>
Racial and Ethnic Heterogeneity in the Effect of MESA on AP STEM Coursework and College STEM Major Aspirations
-MESA participation increases students’ odds of taking AP STEM courses in high school and their aspirations for declaring a STEM major in college.
The Role of High School Racial Composition and Opportunities to Learn in Students' STEM College Participation
1) Do the rates of STEM declaration and graduation vary between high schools?
2) Do opportunities to learn science and mathematics vary depending on high schools’ racial composition? 3) What is the relationship between high school racial composition, opportunities to learn available at high schools, and students’ STEM participation in college? 4) Do these relationships vary by racial/ethnic groups?
The influence of parents on undergraduate and graduate students’ entering the STEM disciplines and STEM careers
– Nurtured by their mothers and/or fathers, students enter STEM disciplines and STEM-related careers through multiple pathways in addition to the anticipated pipeline.
– Incidents of circumstantial and planned parent curriculum making surfaced when the data was serially interpreted. What students know, how they are bent by their parents and others, and what they remember’ congealed and brought them to this point in their beginning STEM-related careers.
– Other themes that emerged included:
(1) Relationships between (student) learners and (teacher) parents: all three students eventually launched themselves into STEM careers, having experienced full-circle relationships between themselves as learners and a variety of ‘teachers (parents and teachers acting as teachers).’
(2) Invitations to inquiry: parents presented their children with confounding challenges that helped them to grow academically. Whether intentional or circumstantial, the students were provided with ‘invitations to inquiry.’
(3) Modes of inquiry: parents were not delivering ‘rhetoric of conclusions’ to their children. Instead, they were involving them in active learning and active testing of alternatives through informal project-based learning.
(4) The improbability of certainty: they were exposed to the idea that people will not know everything all the time and the acceptance that advances in scientific field do take place.
(5) Changed narratives=changed lives.
The effects of a high school curriculum reform on university enrollment and the choice of college major
– The results show that the reform increased university enrollment rates for both genders.
-The reform increased students’ willingness to enroll at university for males and females alike. The reform effect of university enrollment can be assessed as meaningful with 1.3 and 1.2 percentage points for females and males, respectively.
– With regard to choosing STEM as college major, the authors find a
robust positive effect of the high school curriculum reform on males.
– While the results for males indicate that the reform made them more like to choose a STEM major on a statistically significant level, this is not true for females.
– A likely mechanism for the gender difference in major choices is the underlying preferences of men and women.
– There were significant race by gender differences in students’ education and STEM occupational plans.
– Race and gender differences exsist in perceived cost utility and efficacy of education and occupation outcomes.
– Depending on the definition of STEM careers operationalized in the analysis, variation can be observed in the impact of gender, while the role of the expectancy-value constructs remains largely consistent across multiple definitions of STEM careers.
– While expectancy-value constructs such as utility, interest, and attainment value are significantly related to the STEM career plans of White students, fewer significant relationships between expectancy-value constructs and the STEM career plans of Black and Hispanic students were identified.
– School-based hiring is associated with a larger gap in the distribution of teacher quality between advantaged and disadvantaged schools.
– There is an association between school-based hiring and inequality of achievement based on socioeconomic status of students.
– School-based hiring may contribute to exacerbating inequality in learning opportunities and increasing family background’s positive eﬀect on achievement.
– ESCS (a proxy of family SES) is positively associated with student performance in mathematics and science.
– School-based hiring is not associated with student performance on average, but school-based hiring is associated with the larger achievement gap between high- and low-SES students.
– More school autonomy in hiring was associated with a larger gap in the distribution of teacher quality across schools as well as larger socioeconomic achievement inequality.
– School-level mean SES has a positive and significant relationship with math and science achievement.
– Gender and race/ethnicity are associated with science identity but not with discovery orientation.
– The positive association between discovery orientation and science identity is mediated by science interest, importance, and reflected appraisal.
– There are statistically significant differences in science interest between groups. Science interest is higher among white boys than for minority girls. Overall, science importance, perceived science ability, and science reflected appraisal means are also fairly high, particularly compared with science other-ID and science self-ID.
– Science importance is higher among white and minority boys than for white and minority girls. Perceived science ability is higher among white than minority students. White boys and girls have higher scores than minority boys and girls on the questions about parents and teachers, giving them positive messages about their science performance (reflected appraisal).
– White boys have significantly higher science other-ID than all other groups, while only white boys and minority girls differ significantly on science self-ID.
Gendered Choices of STEM Subjects for Matriculation Are Not Driven by Prior Differences in Mathematical Achievement
– Gender streaming among STEM fields appears already in secondary school.
– Girls are under-represented in physics, IT and advanced mathematics.
– This pattern is not driven by gender differences in prior achievement in numeracy.
– Socio-economic disadvantage has a greater adverse effect on boys than on girls.
– There is significantly less gender streaming among STEM fields in all-girls schools.
– Students with a language background other than English choose STEM fields with greater frequency than other students, reflecting their comparative advantage, while exhibiting more markedly gendered subject choices, indicating a role for cultural factors.
– Gender congruence in the student-adviser relationship is particularly helpful for academically weak students and students without STEM-orientation.
– Gender congruence has no significant impact on students with STEM-orientation regardless of whether their high-school GPAs are below or above the median.
– For students without STEM orientation, gender congruence helps students with below-median high school GPA improve their student outcomes both on the extensive and intensive margins, while helping students with above-median high school GPA improve their outcomes only on the extensive margin.
-The authors find that gender congruence in the student-adviser relationship has a positive and significant effect on the odds of retention and on cumulate GPA upon graduation.
– The authors uncover that much of the gender congruence effect
on the extensive margin tends to be concentrated in the freshman and sophomore years, while the gender congruence effect on the intensive margin is less immediate and shows up only in cumulative GPA upon graduation.
– Student-adviser gender congruence is found to work differently for students with different backgrounds and interests.
– Gender congruence has no significant impact on students with STEM-orientation regardless of whether their high-school GPAs are below or above the median.
– The vast majority of the literature reviewed underlined how challenging it was for female students to identify with STEM because the social environment provided a variety of signals that women do not belong to STEM and do not embody STEM prototypes.
– Although boys tended to have higher STEM career interest overall, girls with higher STEM interest and who belonged to a mixed-gender group of friends had the highest STEM career interest scores among their female peers. In contrast, girls who belonged to primarily female friend groups and perceived their friend group to not be supportive of STEM had the lowest STEM career interest scores in the sample.
– Being in a class with more male peers who held these gendered biases negatively predicted intent to major in computer science and engineering. In contrast, being in a class with confident female peers positively predicted intent to major in computer science and engineering.
– Female students rated themselves as having lower abilities than their male counterparts.
– White female students were more likely to major in STEM in college if they felt competent in high school math.
– Young women are operating in an environment where parents, peers, and teachers think and say that they do not belong in STEM and their abilities are challenged even when they are academically successful.
– Young women experience challenges to their participation and inclusion when they are in STEM settings.
The Impact of College- and University-run High School Summer Programs on Students’ End of High School STEM Career Aspirations
– Students of color were more heavily represented among high school summer program participants, relative to their counterparts in the control group.
– There was no statistically significant difference in parents with four-year college degrees between participants and nonparticipants.
– Students who participated in a high school STEM summer program were significantly more likely to have STEM tutoring, compared with nonparticipants.
– On average, summer program participants reported significantly higher SAT mathematics scores and took more mathematics courses than nonparticipants.
– Students who participated in a high school STEM summer program were more likely to have STEM career aspirations at both the beginning and end of high school.
– Students who reported STEM career aspirations at the beginning of high school had much greater odds of reporting STEM aspirations at the end of high school relative to their peers who did not.
– Males had 2.2 times greater odds of reporting end of high school STEM career aspirations relative to their female counterparts.
– The number of mathematics courses a student completed in high school was also a significant predictor of end of high school STEM career aspirations. A one course increase was associated with 1.2 times greater odds of reporting end of high school STEM career aspirations.
– Students’ SAT math scores were also statistically significant. A 100 point increase in SAT mathematics score was associated with a 26% increase in the odds of reporting end of high school STEM career aspirations.
– Students who participated in a high school STEM summer program had 1.4 times the odds of indicating end of high school STEM career aspirations relative to those who did not participate in a summer program
– Students who participated in a high school summer program that showed them the real-life relevance of STEM had odds that were 1.8 times those of students who did not participate in a program.
– Students who indicated that they participated in a summer program that did not show them the real-life relevance of STEM were statistically no different from students who did not participate in a program at all in terms of their end of high school STEM aspirations.
– There were no statistically significant interaction terms.
Identifying Taiwanese Teachers’ Perceived Self-efficacy for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Knowledge
-Male teachers outperformed female teachers in each dimension
of the survey.
-Teachers’ self-efficacy in synthesized knowledge of STEM had two mediating effects. One was in the relationship between self-efficacy in engineering design and attitudes toward STEM education. The other was in the relationship between self-efficacy in Mathematical Thinking and Attitudes toward STEM education. Displaying higher self-efﬁcacy in Engineering Design or Mathematical Thinking is not sufﬁcient to positively predict their attitudes toward STEM education. It is having teachers with higher self-efﬁcacy in the synthesized knowledge of STEM that matters.
-Taiwan teachers tend to have relatively high self-efficacy in terms of their Mathematical Thinking knowledge.
-Taiwan teachers seem to manifest favorable Attitudes regarding STEM education.
-Twain teachers have relatively low confidence in their Engineering Design knowledge.
– Teachers’ Scientific Inquiry and Technology Use did not relate to their self-efficacy in Synthesized Knowledge of STEM and Attitudes toward STEM education.
– Only when teachers demonstrate higher conﬁdence in combining technology use, engineering design, and mathematical thinking into a single learning topic of science in many ways will they believe in the positive impact of STEM education on students.
– When designing teachers’ professional development, the educational authorities concerned should be very intentional in facilitating teachers’ understanding of concepts and processes that are applied through engineering design and mathematical thinking activities.
– While controlling for prior achievement and race, gendered differential treatment was negatively associated with math beliefs and achievement, whereas relevant math instruction was positively associated with these outcomes.
– Gendered differential treatment by teachers in the 8th grade negatively related to student math importance and math grade within the same year.
– Gendered differential treatment by teachers in the 11th-grade was negatively related to 11th-grade SCMA.
– In 8th and 11th grade, relevant math instruction was positively related to students’ math importance and SCMA
– 8th-grade and 11th grade relevant math instruction had an indirect effect upon math importance via self-concept of math ability.
– Self-concept of math ability in the 8th grade partially mediated the relationship between 8th-grade relevant instruction and self-
concept of math ability in the 11th-grade.
– Maryland Math Achievement scores in the 9th grade partially mediated the relationship between 8th-grade gendered differential treatment and self-concept of math ability in the 11th grade.
– The authors found that white men were most likely to report a sense of belonging whereas women of color were the least likely.
– Representation within one’s STEM sub-discipline, namely biology versus the physical sciences, impacts sense of belonging for women.
– Four key factors were found to contribute to sense of belonging for all students interviewed: interpersonal relationships, perceived competence, personal interest, and science identity.
– The authors findings indicate that students who remain in STEM majors report a greater sense of belonging than those who leave STEM.
– Students from underrepresented groups are less likely to
feel they belong.
– Both race and gender moderate the experiences that impact sense of belonging for science students.
– Women of color reported the feeling a sense of belonging less frequently than any demographic group.
– Lack of belonging reported by men is primarily experienced by men of color
-Girls performed similarly to or better than boys in science in two of every three countries.
-In nearly all countries, more girls appeared capable of college-level STEM study than had enrolled.
-Paradoxically, the sex differences in the magnitude of relative academic strengths and pursuit of STEM degrees rose with increases in national gender equality. An explanation of this paradox that the authors offer is that “the liberal mores in these cultures, combined with smaller financial costs of foregoing a STEM path, amplify the influence of intraindividual academic strengths. The result would be the differentiation of the academic foci of girls and boys during secondary education and later in college, and across time, increasing sex differences in science as an academic strength and in graduation with STEM degrees.”
-In 97% of the countries, boys’ intraindividual strength in science was (significantly) larger than that of girls.
-In all countries, girls’ intraindividual strength in reading was larger than that of boys, while boys’ intraindividual strength in mathematics was larger than that of girls.
-The gap between boys’ science achievement and girls’ reading achievement relative to their mean academic performance was near universal.
-Boys’ science self-efficacy was higher than that of girls in 58% of the countries.
-Boys expressed a stronger broad interest in science than girls in 76% of the countries
-Boys reported more joy in science than girls in 43% of the countries.
-Countries with lower levels of gender equality had relatively more women among STEM graduates than did more gender-equal countries.
-The sex differences in academic strengths and attitudes toward science correlated with the STEM graduation gap.
-The authors findings reinforce prior research that students across key demographic factors perceive biological/clinical and physical science career paths differently, resulting in two career clusters.
-The relationship of mathematics attitudes to career
interest varied by STEM career cluster.
-Findings were supportive of the conclusion that students’ attitudes towards STEM careers are not static over their primary and
secondary grades, stabilizing and leveling during their secondary years.
-Gender showed significantly different interest levels for the two career clusters: males higher for physical sciences and females higher for biological/clinical sciences.
-Racial/ethnic disparity in STEM career interests can be seen more readily in physical sciences and engineering than in the biological sciences.
-The authors’ work reinforces findings that students, as young as elementary grades, are forming attitudinal associations between their academic and life experience and future STEM careers.
Fighting for Desired Versions of a Future Self: How Young Women Negotiated STEM-Related Identities in the Discursive Landscape of Educational Opportunity
Authors illustrate the local struggles that young women of color at two high schools in the same school district engaged in to construct and maintain STEM-related identities in the context of their high school lives. In particular, authors focus on the local discourses and practices of the school learning environments within and against which four of the young women in the larger study engaged in STEM identity work.
Gender Gaps in Math Performance, Perceived Mathematical Ability and College STEM Education: The Role of Parental Occupation
– All three factors, math achievement, perceived math ability, and parental occupation in a science field, are found to be significant predictors of the probability of majoring in science in college.
– Having a parent working in a science related field is associated with a better performance in math but not necessarily higher levels of perceived math ability, given math performance.
– Most of the observed positive effects of having a parent in a science related occupation seem to be concentrated among females.
– Estimated effects of higher levels of math achievement are about double for boys than for girls. Estimates of perceived math ability are also slightly larger for boys.
– There are substantial socioeconomic differences in the subjects that young people study from age 14 to 16.
– Young people from advantaged households take more selective subjects, have higher odds of doing three or more facilitating subjects, higher odds of studying a full set of EBacc-eligible subjects (including English, Maths, History or Geography, two sciences and a modern or ancient language), but lower odds of taking Applied GCSEs (e.g. Applied Hospitality, Applied Health or Applied Manufacturing) than less advantaged young people.
– There were important differences by school characteristics, which may be a result of differential opportunities, subjects offered and within school policies.
– Even holding other factors constant, pupils in non-selective schools within selective local authorities study a less academically selective set of subjects.
– When considering university entry, and admission to high-status universities in particular, there are large raw differences associated with studying more academic combinations of subjects.
However, once differences in young people’s backgrounds and prior attainment associated with these differences in subjects studied are taken into account, these differences are, at most,
– The results for studying the full set of EBacc subjects and for studying any applied subjects do show residual associations with university attendance.
– If young people from different socioeconomic backgrounds were studying a more similar curriculum between ages 14 and 16 it would be unlikely to make much of difference to the inequality in university entry highlighted by previous studies.
– Household income, home ownership and higher parental education increase the odds of taking three STEM subjects
– Socio-economic differentials in access to STEM are largely driven by prior attainment.
– Participation in STEM subjects does not vary by school characteristics, with the exception of the proportion of Free School Meals (FSM) in the school which is negatively associated with doing three or more STEM subjects.
This paper aims to estimate the impact of foreign peers on native STEM major choice.
The "Exceptional" Physics Girl: A Sociological Analysis of Multimethod Data from Young Women Aged 10-16 to Explore Gendered Patterns of Post-16 Participation
This article applies Bourdieusian and Butlerian conceptual lenses to qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of a wider longitudinal study of students’ science and career aspirations age 10-16.
Stratifying science: A Bourdieusian analysis of student views and experiences of school selective practices in relation to ‘Triple Science’ at KS4 in England
How do young people experience and construct their ‘choice’ (or not) of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) science route? And what are the identity and other implications (for social justice and widening participation in science) associated with participation on Double or Triple award routes for different groups of students?
Building Better Bridges into STEM: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Literature on STEM Summer Bridge Programs
– The authors identify 14 distinct bridge program goals that can be organized into three categories: academic success goals, psychosocial goals, and department-level goals.
– Academic success goals include: Remediation- Providing Students with Foundational Knowledge in a STEM Domain, Improving Student Content Knowledge in a Discipline, Maximizing Student GPA, Increasing Student Retention, and Increasing Student Graduation Rate from College.
– Psychosocial goals include: Increasing Interest in the Major, Improving Student Sense of Belonging, Increasing Student Sense of Preparedness, Increasing Student Self-Efficacy, Networking with Students, and Networking with Faculty.
– Department-level goals include Recruiting Students to the Major and Enhancing Diversity in the Major
– The authors’ recommendations include: encouraging bridge developers and evaluators to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, reporting unsuccessful iterations to help develop more successful future programs, reporting more information about the details of implementing bridge programs (including costs and resources, recruitment and selection, size, curriculum development, and follow-up information), and aligning bridge goals with measured outcomes.
Through the lens of expectancy-value theory (EVT), what are the potential factors that influence STEM attitudes in the context of computing intervention?
1: How do female students’ levels of self-efficacy correlate with their decision to enroll in advanced STEM coursework and STEM extracurricular activities? 2: How does the CoP in and surrounding a small rural high school contribute to
female secondary students’ enrollment in advanced STEM coursework?
Undergraduate STEM Instructors’ Teacher Identities and Discourses on Student Gender Expression and Equity
The authors investigated how STEM faculty teaching first-year engineering courses constructed teacher identities and responsibilities. Our research questions included: What discourses do faculty use to construct the meaning of student gender expression in their classroom? How do faculty discursively position themselves in relation to gender equity? What teacher identities and responsibilities do they construct through these discourses?
– Schools, as opposed to families, may be the primary vehicle for developing effective strategy use practices for students and thus,
targeted interventions may be particularly useful for male students
attending low SES schools.
– One learning strategy (i.e., control strategies) was found to relate signiﬁcantly and positively to achievement.
– These strategies were used more by females and students attending higher SES schools.
– Males and students attending lower SES schools tended to use a greater number of learning strategies that did not relate to achievement, including memorization and elaboration.
– Strategies that did not relate to achievement were used more
frequently by students from higher SES families.
– There were higher rates in student success, progress, and cumulative GPA in the group of students who received the program as an intervention than a comparison group of students, matched on previously reported measures of success, who did not receive the intervention.
– The evidence presented supports the efficacy of the UC S-STEM program in increasing student progress rate for credits earned, cumulative GPA, and success.
– Progress rates for Cohort students were lower prior to program entry than after program entry, by an average of almost three credit hours per semester. This observed difference in rate means was statistically and represented a large effect size.
To assess the relationship between societal affluence and the gender gap in STEM aspirations.
Science Engagement and Science Achievement in the Context of Science Instruction: A Multilevel Analysis of U.S. Students and Schools
– All aspects of science engagement were statistically significantly and positively related to science achievement, and nearly all showed medium or large effect sizes.
– Each aspect was positively associated with one of the four practices (strategies) of science teaching.
– Focus on applications or models was positively related to the most aspects of science engagement (science self-concept, enjoyment of science, instrumental motivation for science, general value of science, and personal value of science).
– Hands-on activities were positively related to additional aspects of science engagement (science self-efficacy and general interest in learning science) and also showed a positive relationship with science achievement.
– School mean SES has a positive and significant effect on students’ future motivation in science and on science achievement.
1. What factors predict that incoming STEM majors who graduate will attain a STEM degree?
2. What elements affect incoming STEM majors’ persistence in college?
3. What variables influence non-STEM majors who graduate college to switch to and attain a degree in a STEM field?
4. What factors motivate undecided majors to declare and graduate with a STEM degree?
Investigates the effect of affirmative action bans on aggregate STEM degree completion across the US. Banning affirmative action may do more than shift minority students pursuing STEM from more selective colleges to less selective colleges. Minority students may also switch majors while
enrolling in the same institution, as well as attend community colleges or pursue other career
This study aims to provide activities to motivate teachers to use technology in their classrooms and encourage students to pursue a STEM related field, Computer Science in particular.
This study estimates the effect of having a female instructor, the effects of measures of self-efficacy, and the interaction effects of measures of self-efficacy and having a female instructor on female and male student grade performance.
Are girls’ math abilities and skills sufficient for them to pursue those fields? If not, when do differences arise and are they affected by environmental factors?
1) Examine the impact of a predominately female STEEM (science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and mathematics) teaching staff on girls’ perceptions of STEEM. 2) Examine the impact of adding entrepreneurship to a STEM curriculum.
– High school academic preparation, faculty gender composition, and major returns have little effect on major switching behaviors, and women and men are equally likely to change their major in response to poor grades in major-related courses.
– Women in male-dominated majors do not exhibit different patterns of switching behaviors relative to their male colleagues.
– Women are more likely to switch out of male-dominated STEM majors in response to poor performance compared to men.
– It takes multiple signals of lack of fit into a major (low grades, gender composition of class, and external stereotyping signals) to impel female students to switch majors.
Using an opportunity-propensity framework to estimate individual-, classroom-, and school-level predictors of middle school science achievement
When a more comprehensive set of opportunity and propensity variables are used in a SEM to predict eighth-grade science achievement, what are the relative magnitudes of the associations measured in the model, and which opportunity and propensity variables have the strongest relationships to the science achievement outcome?
– The students constructed personal narratives mediated by symbolic cultural systems to make meaning of their experiences, which more often disputed than conﬁrmed the model minority stereotype.
– Eleven students brought up the notion that some Asian students are encouraged to pursue STEM-based ﬁelds because the perception is that they will not be successful in other ﬁelds, such as English, religion, or history. They discussed being pigeonholed into majoring in STEM in spite of their many diverse life and career interests.
– The experiences of Black and Asian STEM college students overlap signiﬁcantly, in that both are bound by society’s misrecognition of their race and ability.
– These students were not immune from believing in the stereotypes and biases about their own race, even as they recognized that these stereotypes might be harming them.
– Five students in this study discussed using the MMM and their high achievement in STEM to capitalize on or take advantage of the stereotype.
– South Asian (Indian or Pakistani) students in particular have similar experiences that differ from those of East Asian students. Many women in this sample talked about the salience of skin tone discrimination in their lives and its effects on their academic performance.
Inclusive STEM high schools (ISHSs) (where STEM is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) admit students on the basis of interest rather than competitive examination. This study examines the central assumption behind these schools – that they provide students from subgroups underrepresented in STEM with experiences that equip them academically and attitudinally to enter and stay in the STEM pipeline. Research questions: 1) To what extent do STEM interests, activities, achievement, and expectations among 12th graders attending inclusive STEM high schools differ from those of similar students attending regular comprehensive high schools? 2) To what extent do STEM interests, activities, achievement, and expectations among 12th graders from demographic groups underrepresented in STEM fields differ between those attending inclusive STEM high schools and those attending regular comprehensive high schools?
Public Understanding of Science and K-12 STEM Education Outcomes: Effects of Idaho Parents' Orientation Toward Science on Students' Attitudes Toward Science
The authors focus on the potential effects of parents’ attitudes toward science on their children’s STEM learning outcomes.
The purpose of this study is to identify key college experiences that are correlated with long-term success for female technologists. Research questions include whether long-term career success is more likely for female technology graduates who, during their undergraduate studies, (1) personally interacted with professional and academic role models, (2) were able to apply their classroom learning to real world problems, and (3) actively participated in campus life.
Laying the Tracks for Successful Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education: What Can We Learn from Comparisons of Immigrant-Native Achievement in the USA?
This paper examines the immigrant-native achievement gap in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in college in the USA.