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ERIC Number: EJ1057114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
Problem Solving and Creativity and Design: What Influence Do They Have on Girls' Interest in STEM Subject Areas?
Cooper, Robyn; Heaverlo, Carol
American Journal of Engineering Education, v4 n1 p27-38 2013
For girls there is a distinct loss in interest, lack of confidence, and decline in positive attitudes toward STEM subject areas that begins early on in their academic experience and increases with age. According to the National Academy of Engineering, students need to begin associating the possibilities in STEM fields with the need for creativity and real world problem solving skills. Recent research has focused on the necessity of emphasizing the use of creativity and design in attracting girls to STEM academic and career fields. Many extra and after school activities (e.g., State Science Fair, math club, environmental club), provide girls with experiential learning that incorporates problem solving and/or creativity and design skills as well as providing investigative opportunities into academic areas that may not be part of the regular school day. Through hierarchical regression analyses, this study examined the extent to which middle and high school girls' (n = 915) age, and interest and confidence in a) problem solving and b) creativity and design predicted their interest in four STEM subject areas. A follow up analysis identified the extracurricular activities in which girls with higher interests in problem solving and creativity and design were involved. Results revealed that interest in problem solving was a positive predictor for interest in all four STEM subject areas; whereas, interest in creativity and design was a positive predictor for interest in computers and engineering, but a negative predictor for interest in science.
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Creativity, STEM Education, Females, Student Interests, After School Programs, Career Choice, Correlation, Experiential Learning, Regression (Statistics), Middle School Students, High School Students, Predictor Variables, Computer Science, Engineering, Extracurricular Activities, Self Efficacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A