Event Title

Strengthening Students’ STEM Identity Through Service

Location

SU 214

Department

Engineering Program

Abstract

Service through volunteerism has been shown to be correlated with growth in social behavior and academic aptitude. STEM-related service has the potential to promote an individual’s growth and belonging in the profession. Although found beneficial there are a limited number of studies that address the impact of service with STEM-identity (ability to see oneself as a STEM professional) and STEM-efficacy (the belief in one’s ability to succeed in STEM). In this research, we hypothesize that students who participate in STEM-related services, increase their STEM identity and STEM efficacy. To test the hypothesis, we designed several short-term and long-term STEM-related service projects and designed STEM-identity and self-efficacy surveys. Students from Wilbur Wright College engineering program were asked to participate in these projects and were asked to respond to the surveys. Preliminary results indicate an increase in STEM efficacy and belongingness to the STEM community. Participants also expressed willingness to continue providing STEM-related service if given the opportunity. More service activities will be designed to expand the current sample size to enhance these findings. Future work will analyze the series of service events and improve the methodologies for more conclusive outcomes. Other factors will also be looked at, including the time and effort required for participants to render a successful and meaningful service. The results of the surveys will also be correlated with participants’ overall academic performance.

Faculty Sponsor

Doris Espiritu, Wilbur Wright College

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May 6th, 10:40 AM

Strengthening Students’ STEM Identity Through Service

SU 214

Service through volunteerism has been shown to be correlated with growth in social behavior and academic aptitude. STEM-related service has the potential to promote an individual’s growth and belonging in the profession. Although found beneficial there are a limited number of studies that address the impact of service with STEM-identity (ability to see oneself as a STEM professional) and STEM-efficacy (the belief in one’s ability to succeed in STEM). In this research, we hypothesize that students who participate in STEM-related services, increase their STEM identity and STEM efficacy. To test the hypothesis, we designed several short-term and long-term STEM-related service projects and designed STEM-identity and self-efficacy surveys. Students from Wilbur Wright College engineering program were asked to participate in these projects and were asked to respond to the surveys. Preliminary results indicate an increase in STEM efficacy and belongingness to the STEM community. Participants also expressed willingness to continue providing STEM-related service if given the opportunity. More service activities will be designed to expand the current sample size to enhance these findings. Future work will analyze the series of service events and improve the methodologies for more conclusive outcomes. Other factors will also be looked at, including the time and effort required for participants to render a successful and meaningful service. The results of the surveys will also be correlated with participants’ overall academic performance.