Jesse NeeceFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kurt Y Michael


Attitude, Enjoyment, Gender, Robotics Competitions, Usefulness


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Psychology | Other Education


Some of the most dynamic and demanding careers are in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, when analyzing gender, there are great disparities among gender in STEM. Statistics indicate females are vastly underrepresented and males are employed double the rate of females. Leading STEM companies are creatively trying to attract future STEM laborers by means of science and engineering competitions. The purpose of this quantitative causal comparative study was to investigate if there are differences in attitudes between male and female students participating in a robotics competition. A convenience sample of public school students (N = 194) from grades 7-12 that participated in a southeastern state robotics competition were used in this study. The sample consisted of 69 females and 125 males. The researcher administered a modified version of the Student’s Attitude toward Science Fairs Survey customized for use at a robotics competition. The instrument measured students’ overall attitudes toward science and engineering competitions and further explored two constructs: usefulness (utility value) and enjoyment (intrinsic value) of the competition. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine if differences existed between male and female students’ attitudes towards science and engineering competitions and results were disclosed. The MANOVA results determined that there are no significant differences found among male and female students and their enjoyment, value (usefulness), and total (overall attitude) values towards a robotics competition, Wilks’s Λ = 1.00, F(2, 191) = 0.10, p > .05, partial η2 = 0.001. Thus, the researcher failed to reject the null hypothesis. Implications of this investigation and future recommendations for future studies were discussed.