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Impact of Materials Science and Engineering Clubs on Student’s perceptions and aspirations towards STEM

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 October 2018

C. Pomales-García
Affiliation:
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
Z.A. Reyes-Rivera
Affiliation:
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
J. Mercado-Colón
Affiliation:
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
A.M. Padovani
Affiliation:
Engineering Sciences and Materials Department, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
O.M. Suarez
Affiliation:
Engineering Sciences and Materials Department, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez
J.E. Álvarez
Affiliation:
General Library, University of Puerto-Rico-Mayagüez
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

This research evidences the impact of Materials Science and Engineering Clubs as an outreach effort to expand the education and training required for a competitive Nanotechnology workforce beyond traditional STEM areas. An engineering perception questionnaire was implemented as a pre-test/post-test to track student perceptions and goals throughout the academic year to identify trends amongst gender and school level groups. Findings (107 students) show a perceived increase in student knowledge and interest for different fields of study, based on pre/post-test responses, with differences amongst gender and school level groups (middle school and high school). Also, significant differences in students’ aspirations for higher education degree were found among school level and gender. Results show that over 20% of participants increased their aspirations to higher education degrees and their interests in pursuing STEM degrees at end of the academic year. Specific findings on engineering perceptions and perceived level of knowledge and interest in science, engineering, materials, and nanotechnology as a result of club participation and student’s educational aspirations, expectations and future study plans are discussed along with implications for future STEM education.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2018 

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