Effect of Research and Mentoring on Underrepresented Youths' STEM Persistence Into College

Date: 
Friday, October 29, 2021
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Summer and Extended Camps
Audience: 
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
Discipline: 
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science
Access and Inclusion: 
Urban
Organization:
Wildlife Conservation Society, COSI Center for Research and Evaluation, Fordham University
Description: 

Background: Authentic research experiences and mentoring have positive impacts on fostering STEM engagement among youth from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM. Programs applying an experiential learning approach often incorporate one or both of these elements, however, there is little research on how these factors impact youth’s STEM engagement during the high school to college transition. Purpose: Using a longitudinal design, this study explored the impact of a hands-on field research experience and mentoring as unique factors impacting STEM-related outcomes among underrepresented youth. We focus on the high school to college transition, a period that can present new barriers to STEM persistence. Methodology/Approach: We surveyed 189 youth before and up to 3 years after participation ina 7-week intensive summer intervention. Findings/Conclusions: Authentic research experiences was related to increased youths’ science interest and pursuitof STEM majors, even after their transition to college. Mentorship had a more indirect impact on STEM academic intentions; where positive mentorship experiences was related to youths’ reports of social connection. Implications: Programs designed for continuing STEM engagement of underrepresented youth would benefit from incorporating experiential learning approaches focused on authentic research experiences.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1421017
Funding Amount: 
577573
Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1421019
Funding Amount: 
568271
Citation
DOI:
10.1177/10538259211050098
Publication Name: 
Jornal of Experiential Education
Page Number: 
1-21

Team Members

Alexandra BeachampAlexandra BeachampAuthor
Jason AloisioJason AloisioAuthor
JD LewisJD LewisAuthor
Jason Munshi-SouthJason Munshi-SouthAuthor
J. Alan ClarkJ. Alan ClarkAuthor

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