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Motivational Factors Influencing High School Students' Persistence to STEM Majors in their First Year of College

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This research was intended to investigate the effects of various motivational variables on high school students' declaration of a STEM major in college, focusing on PSEM majors. It made use of data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009,

This research was intended to investigate the effects of various motivational variables on high school students' declaration of a STEM major in college, focusing on PSEM majors. It made use of data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, including the first and second follow-up years (2011 and 2013). The advantage of this study over others is due to this data set, which was designed to be a representative sample of the national population of US high school students. Effects of motivational factors were considered in the context of demographic groups, with the analysis conducted on PSEM declaration illuminating a problem in the discrepancy between male and female high school students. In general, however, PSEM retention from intention to declaration is abysmal, with only 35% of those students who intended towards PSEM actually enrolling.

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2017-12

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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