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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 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.2013006464
pages 121-142

STEM DEVELOPMENT: PREDICTORS FOR 6TH-12TH GRADE GIRLS' INTEREST AND CONFIDENCE IN SCIENCE AND MATH

Carol A. Heaverlo
Department of Program for Women in Science & Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA
Robyn Cooper
School of Education, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa 50311, USA
Frankie Santos Lannan
School of Education, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa 50011, USAl

RÉSUMÉ

In order to increase the representation of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, it is important to understand the developmental factors that impact girls' interest and confidence in STEM academics and extracurricular programs. Research indicates that greater confidence leads to greater interest and vice versa. This study identifies factors that impact girls' interest and confidence in math and science, defined as girls' STEM development. Using Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model of human development, several factors were hypothesized as having an impact on girls' STEM development; specifically, the macrosystems of region of residence and race/ethnicity, and the microsystems of extracurricular STEM involvement, family STEM influence, and math/science teacher influence. Hierarchical regression analysis results indicated that extracurricular STEM involvement and math teacher influence were statistically significant predictors for 6th–12th grade girls' interest and confidence in math. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis results indicated that the only significant predictor for 6th–12th grade girls' interest and confidence in science was science teacher influence. This study provides new knowledge about the factors that impact girls' STEM development. Results can be used to inform and guide educators, administrators, and policymakers in developing programs and policy that support and encourage the STEM development of 6th–12th grade girls.


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