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ERIC Number: EJ1047232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Students Who Demonstrate Strong Talent and Interest in STEM Are Initially Attracted to STEM through Extracurricular Experiences
VanMeter-Adams, Amy; Frankenfeld, Cara L.; Bases, Jessica; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n4 p687-697 Dec 2014
What early experiences attract students to pursue an education and career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? Does hands-on research influence them to persevere and complete a major course of academic study in STEM? We evaluated survey responses from 149 high school and undergraduate students who gained hands-on research experience in the 2007-2013 Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Programs (ASSIP) at George Mason University. Participants demonstrated their strong interest in STEM by volunteering to participate in ASSIP and completing 300 h of summer research. The survey queried extracurricular experiences, classroom factors, and hands-on projects that first cultivated students' interest in the STEM fields, and separately evaluated experiences that sustained their interest in pursuing a STEM degree. The majority of students (65.5%, p < 0.0001) reported extracurricular encounters, such as the influence of a relative or family member and childhood experiences, as the most significant factors that initially ignited their interest in STEM, while hands-on lab work was stated as sustaining their interest in STEM (92.6%). Based on these findings collected from a cohort of students who demonstrated a strong talent and interest in STEM, community-based programs that create awareness about STEM for both children and their family members may be key components for igniting long-term academic interest in STEM.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia