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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v15.i2.20
pages 119-142

SUPPORTING YOUNG WOMEN TO ENTER ENGINEERING: LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGINEERING OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR GIRLS

Chrysanthe Demetry
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Morgan Teaching and Learning Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609, USA
Jeanne Hubelbank
Independent Consultants
Stephanie L. Blaisdell
Student Learning and Assessment Commencement Office, University of Memphis
Suzanne Sontgerath
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609, USA
Michelle Errington Nicholson
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA; now unaffiliated
Lisa Rosenthal
Department of Psychology, Pace University, 41 Park Row New York, NY, 10038
Paula Quinn
Independent Consultants

RÉSUMÉ

This study evaluated the long-term effects of Camp Reach, a 2-week residential summer camp for rising seventh-grade girls that emphasizes the social context of engineering design and includes follow-up activities through high school. Program participants are chosen from the applicant pool by random lottery, creating a control group with similar attributes as the study group. Applicants (N = 176) from 5 years of the program were interviewed by phone near the point of college entry. Outcomes of interest included science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related course taking and activities in high school, STEM-related self-efficacies, knowledge of engineering, and choice of college major. Although many trends are in the expected direction, with stronger long-term outcomes for Camp Reach participants, the differences do not reach the point of statistical significance. Continued exposure to STEM-related programming and role models, through such means as Camp Reach follow-up activities and other Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) programs for high school students, are associated with stronger long-term outcomes. At the same time, qualitative results emphasize the empowering nature of the program and suggest that it was an important influence for many who chose STEM majors as they entered college.


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