Problem-Based Learning Increases STEM Interest for High School Students and Instructors


The goal of Project STEMulate, a National Science Foundation ITEST study (# 1657625), is to develop, implement, and evaluate a program that fosters success for underserved and underrepresented high school students. The project was implemented at three sites of the Department of Education Upward Bound Program in Hawaii. Project STEMulate delivers teacher training and Problem-Based Learning curriculum to ensure students are motivated and empowered, and to support STEM-related postsecondary educational success of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. A critical design goal of the program was to introduce teaching and learning strategies and processes that were more relevant to underrepresented youth populations than those engaged in their typical high school context to offer opportunities and increase their participation in the STEM study and career trajectory, something all too often out of mind and scope of these students. This presentation will report on three years of summer academy data (mixed methods) that includes both student and teacher learning outcomes. Analyses demonstrated that student gains in career decisions and knowledge of wider STEM career opportunities correlates with teacher gains in Problem-Based Learning and student-centered learning professional development shifts. Further, teacher dispositions, evidenced through data from interviews, observations, and multi-point surveys improved in a majority of the dimensions, including teaching inquiry-based approaches, integrating technology, and STEM career knowledge and awareness. Finally, we will discuss the larger implications of extending this work to positively impact similar populations elsewhere of isolated, under-resourced and under-exposed youth with these proven strategies.

Author Information
David Reider, Education Design, INC, United States
Nanasi Davis, University of Hawaii, United States
Nahid Nariman, TIDES, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Reider D., Davis N., & Nariman N. (2021) Problem-Based Learning Increases STEM Interest for High School Students and Instructors ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2021 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon