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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2021

Michael S. Rugh, Donald J. Beyette, Mary Margaret Capraro and Robert M. Capraro

The purpose of this study is to examine a week-long science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project-based learning (PBL) activity that integrates a new educational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine a week-long science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project-based learning (PBL) activity that integrates a new educational technology and the engineering design process to teach middle and high school students the concepts involved in rotational physics. The technology and teaching method described in this paper can be applied to a wide variety of STEM content areas.

Design/methodology/approach

As an educational technology, the dynamic and interactive mathematical expressions (DIME) map system automatically generates an interactive, connected concept map of mathematically based concepts extracted from a portable document format textbook chapter. Over five days, students used DIME maps to engage in meaningful self-guided learning within the engineering design process and STEM PBL.

Findings

Using DIME maps within a STEM PBL activity, students explored the physics behind spinning objects, proposed multiple creative designs and built a variety of spinners to meet specified criteria and constraints.

Practical implications

STEM teachers can use DIME maps and STEM PBL to support their students in making connections between what they learn in the classroom and real-world scenarios.

Social implications

For any classroom with computers, tablets or phones and an internet connection, DIME maps are an accessible educational technology that provides an alternative representation of knowledge for learners who are underserved by traditional methods of instruction.

Originality/value

For STEM teachers and education researchers, the activity described in this paper uses advances in technology (DIME maps and slow-motion video capture on cell phones) and pedagogy (STEM PBL and the engineering design process) to enable students to engage in meaningful learning.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 May 2024

Miriam Marie Sanders, Julia E. Calabrese, Micayla Gooden and Mary Margaret Capraro

Research has shown that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) self-beliefs and enjoyment are critical factors for predicting female students’ persistence in STEM…

Abstract

Purpose

Research has shown that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) self-beliefs and enjoyment are critical factors for predicting female students’ persistence in STEM degrees and careers. Studies have shown the positive effects of informal STEM learning experiences on female students’ self-beliefs. However, with the rise of all-female STEM learning experiences, such as summer camps, considering the potential advantages and disadvantages of co-ed options is important. Further, prior STEM education research has focused on sex differences in students’ self-efficacy and STEM career interests. Our study aims to examine within sex differences in secondary, female students (n = 104) who attend either a co-ed STEM camp or a same-sex STEM camp.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine potential differences, we conducted independent sample t-tests.

Findings

Results of the study include statistically significant differences in mathematics and science self-efficacy as well as STEM career interest after participating in their respective camps.

Originality/value

Further, prior research in STEM education has focused on between sex differences in students’ self-efficacy and STEM career interest.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Macie N. Baucum and Robert M. Capraro

The purpose of this paper is to report the change in students' STEM perceptions in two different informal learning environments: an online STEM camp and a face-to-face (FTF) STEM…

1776

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the change in students' STEM perceptions in two different informal learning environments: an online STEM camp and a face-to-face (FTF) STEM camp.

Design/methodology/approach

For this quasi-experimental study, 26 students participated in an online STEM summer camp and another 26 students participated in the FTF STEM camp. Students from each group took the same pre- and post-STEM Semantics Survey documenting their perceptions of the individual STEM fields and of STEM careers. Wilcoxon Signed-Rank tests, Mann–Whitney U tests and corresponding effect sizes were used to compare the pre- and post-scores within and between the camps.

Findings

Results indicate that both camps produce similar outcomes regarding STEM field and career perceptions. However, analysis of all statistical values indicates that the online STEM camp can produce a larger positive influence on STEM field perceptions and the FTF camp can produce a larger positive influence on STEM career perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

This suggests that STEM camps, both online and in-person, can improve students' perceptions of the STEM fields and of STEM careers. Implications from this study indicate that modifications of informal learning environments should be based on the type of learning environment.

Originality/value

This manuscript discusses the development and impact of an online STEM camp to accommodate for the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to hold an in-person STEM camp. These results may influence the curriculum and organization of future online and FTF STEM camps.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Katherine N. Vela, Rachelle M. Pedersen and Macie N. Baucum

This paper investigated the impact a camp on informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) had on students' perceptions of STEM fields and careers.

5201

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigated the impact a camp on informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) had on students' perceptions of STEM fields and careers.

Design/methodology/approach

A quasiexperimental design was used to assess students' perceptions toward STEM fields and careers. Secondary students (n = 57) who participated in the STEM summer camp completed STEM projects, went on lab tours and attended panels during the one- or two-week residential camps. Students completed a STEM Semantics survey to assess their perceptions prior to and after attending the camp. Descriptive statistics, Cohen's d effect sizes, paired sample t-tests and Pearson's correlation were conducted to analyze the data.

Findings

Results suggested that although there was no significant change in students' dispositions toward each individual STEM field, there was a statistically significant improvement of students' perceptions of STEM careers (p = 0.04; d = 0.25). Furthermore, the results of the Pearson's correlation indicated that there was a statistically significant positive association between perceptions of a STEM career and perceptions in science, mathematics and engineering.

Research limitations/implications

This suggests that various components of the informal learning environment positively contributed to students' perceptions toward STEM careers. Implications from the study indicate that when students are engaged in hands-on science or STEM PBL activities and have opportunities to be exposed to various STEM careers, their perceptions of STEM pathways will improve.

Originality/value

These results may influence future curriculum and the organization of future STEM camps by encouraging teachers and camp directors to integrate practical hands-on STEM projects and expose students to potential STEM pathways through lab tours and panels of STEM professionals.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

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