Correlation of STEM Interest and Career Intent in High-School Students


Understanding high school students’ perceptions and dispositions toward STEM, and the role science and math self-efficacy play in establishing STEM career aspirations is imperative to preparing the STEM workforce of the future. Project STEMulate is an industry-aligned technology-rich Problem-Based Learning (PBL) model. The goal of this NSF ITEST grant-funded study (2018-2020) was to improve students’ attitudes towards STEM. Project STEMulate focuses on Upward Bound students in Hawai'i and was implemented at three sites: University of Hawaiˋi (UH) Maui College, UH Hilo, and Windward Community College on Oahu. The participants voluntarily selected to participate in this program. The current study reviews year 2 data collected on the impact of Project STEMulate on low-income and underrepresented and/or native Hawaiian student’s STEM career interest, and their science and mathematics self-efficacy. Students’ reactions to the STEM learning experience was extremely positive. 80% of students expressed a desire to pursue a career in STEM at the post test. High school students who listed their plan to pursue a career in STEM also showed a higher self-efficacy and motivation. Analysis of the results demonstrates this program was effective in empowering students with insights into careers, enhancing knowledge that would serve them in pursuit of a career in STEM. In addition, the project fostered a can-do attitude and increased students’ science self-efficacy.

Author Information
Nahid Nariman, Transformative Inquiry Design for Effective Schools and Systems (TIDES), United States
Jaymee Nanasi Davis, University of Hawaii, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Educational Research

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Nariman N., & Davis J. (2021) Correlation of STEM Interest and Career Intent in High-School Students ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2021 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon