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Development of an Instrument to Assess Attitudes Toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Abstract

"There is a need for more students to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers to advance U.S. competitiveness and economic growth. A consensus exists that improving STEM education is necessary for motivating more students to pursue STEM careers. In this study, a survey to measure student (grades 4-6) attitudes toward STEM and STEM careers was developed and administered to 662 students from two STEM-focused and three comprehensive (non-STEM-focused) schools. Cronbach's alphas for the whole survey and subscales indicated a high internal consistency. Statistically significant difference in means between students attending the STEM-focused and comprehensive schools on the two subscales of the survey and the overall survey were found. However, the explained variance for these results was approximately 1%. The survey is a useful tool to assess efficacy of STEM education programs on student attitudes toward STEM and STEM careers."

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