Title The Impact of 2006-2012 CReSIS Summer Research Programs that Influence Student's Choice of a STEM Related Major in College
Team Members Courtney Farmer, Jessica Hathaway, Malcom McConner, Alicia Reynolds
Mentor Dr. Darnell Johnson
Keywords: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, (STEM), Chi Square Test, Underrepresented students
Researchers, policymakers, business, and industry have indicated that the United States will experience a future shortage of professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Several strategies have been suggested to address this impending shortage, one of which includes increasing the representation of females and minorities in the STEM fields. In order to increase the representation of underrepresented students in the STEM fields, it is important to understand the motivational factors that impact underrepresented students’ interest in STEM academics and extracurricular programs. Research indicates that greater confidence leads to greater interest and vice versa (Denissen et al., 2007). In this paper, the mathematics research team examined the role of practical research experience during the summer for talented minority secondary students studying in STEM fields. An undergraduate research mathematics team focused on the link between summer research and the choice of an undergraduate discipline. A Chi Square Statistical Test was used to examine Likert Scale results on the attitude of students participating in the 2006-2012 Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Summer Research Programs for secondary students. This research was conducted at Elizabeth City State University located in northeastern North Carolina about the factors that impact underrepresented students’ choices of STEM related majors in college. Results can be used to inform and guide educators, administrators, and policy makers in developing programs and policy that support and encourage the STEM development of underrepresented students.