The Influence of Early STEM Career Exploration as Related to Motivation and Self-determination Theory

Date
2018-06-23
Authors
Martinez Ortiz, Araceli
Kawaguchi Warshauer, Hiroko
Garcia Torres, Sara
Rodríguez Amaya, Laura
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
American Society for Engineering Education
Abstract

A science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) summer intervention program is the setting for a career-exploration research study with over 30 adolescent students in a low-income community. Using motivation and self-determination theory as a framework, the impact of early exposure to engineering and mathematics career opportunities is examined. This study utilized mixed methods to analyze how changes in middle school students’ affective characteristics may be linked to their future career decision-making after participating in an integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics academic/ career summer camp. We examine three students’ decisions regarding their changes in self-reported future academic major choices and career goals utilizing measures of motivation, self-efficacy, and self-determination.

Interview data provides qualitative evidence that participants’ experiences during camp may indeed impact their short-term outlook towards their informed decision making and motivation related to pursuing STEM careers. Repeat participants (two or more years) are highlighted as case studies and their survey and interview input is analyzed to determine to what extent, if any, students attribute changes in motivation to their summer camp experiences. Given that the student participants represent a majority demographic of low income and historically underrepresented populations in STEM, particular patterns related to the participants’ ethnicity and/or gender are presented.

Description
This paper was originally presented at the 2018 American Society for Engineering Education annual meeting. © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education
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Citation
Martinez Ortiz, A., Kawaguchi Warshauer, H., Garcia Torres, S., & Rodríguez Amaya, L. (2018). The Influence of Early STEM Career Exploration as Related to Motivation and Self-determination Theory. Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah. doi:10.18260/1-2--31114
Department
Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
Engineering Education