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Perspectives of Women in Engineering: Becoming a Woman in STEM

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This project examines the contributions of environmental effects and role models to the overall sense of belonging and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields among women. Eleven female engineers, ranging from college freshmen, seniors, and industry members,

This project examines the contributions of environmental effects and role models to the overall sense of belonging and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields among women. Eleven female engineers, ranging from college freshmen, seniors, and industry members, were interviewed for their perspectives on how their childhoods, female engineers in media, and STEM outreach affiliations affected their career decisions to pursue engineering. Additionally, a student survey was sent to the general Arizona State University population to gauge interest in different engineering challenges. Major, gender, and first-generation status emerged as affecting factors for high interest in certain engineering challenges. As denoted by the survey, male students showed more interest in "Joy of Living" related challenges, while females were more interested in "Health" and "Sustainability" related challenges. First-generation students showed more neutral attitudes than continuing-generation towards most of the engineering challenges. Interview vignettes and survey results were analyzed to identify implications for K-12 outreach and education efforts.

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2018-05

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Project Build-A-Hero: Enhancing Biomedical Engineering as a Socially Relevant Discipline

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The goal of this research study was to empirically study a poster-based messaging campaign in comparison to that of a project-based learning approach in assessing the effectiveness of these methods in conveying the scope of biomedical engineering to upper elementary

The goal of this research study was to empirically study a poster-based messaging campaign in comparison to that of a project-based learning approach in assessing the effectiveness of these methods in conveying the scope of biomedical engineering to upper elementary school students. For the purpose of this honors thesis, this research paper specifically reflects and analyzes the first stage of this study, the poster-based messaging campaign. 6th grade students received socially relevant messaging of juniors and seniors at ASU achieving their biomedical aspirations, and received information regarding four crucial themes of biomedical engineering via daily presentations and a website. Their learning was tracked over the course of the weeklong immersion program through a pre/post assessment. This data was then analyzed through the Wilcoxon matched pairs test to determine whether the change in biomedical engineering awareness was statistically significant. It was determined that a poster-based messaging campaign indeed increased awareness of socially relevant themes within biomedical engineering, and provided researchers with tangible ways to revise the study before a second round of implementation. The next stage of the study aims to explain biomedical engineering through engaging activities that stimulate making while emphasizing design-aesthetic appeal and engineering habits of mind such as creativity, teamwork, and communication.

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2016-05

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A Synthesis of Research on the Impact of Engineering Identity on Undergraduate Women’s Persistence in Engineering

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Despite efforts to recruit and retain female engineering students, only about 21.3% of bachelor’s degrees each year in engineering and computer science are awarded to women. The purpose of this synthesis is to understand the ways in which current research

Despite efforts to recruit and retain female engineering students, only about 21.3% of bachelor’s degrees each year in engineering and computer science are awarded to women. The purpose of this synthesis is to understand the ways in which current research has explored how self-identity, engineering identity, and sense of belonging influence undergraduate women’s persistence. Analysis is focused around 4 themes that emerged: (1) Sense of Self: Self-Efficacy, Expectancy Value Theory; (2) Culture of Engineering: Engineering Identity; (3) Stereotype Threat; (4) Interdisciplinary Studies to Expand the Culture of Engineering. Conclusions of this synthesis may be used as opportunities for future engagement with these topics.

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2020-05