School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Jillian L. Wendt


STEM, Next Generation Science Standards, science interest, gender differences




The purpose of this study is to determine whether students enrolled in ninth and 10th grade science classes implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have significantly different interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) compared to students enrolled in classes structured around alternate state standards unrelated to the NGSS. The study also investigates how such interests may differ among genders. No research has been conducted to date to determine the potential effects of the NGSS on student interest in STEM or whether these standards impact student interest at all. This study utilizes a causal-comparative design to study the potential effects of science standard type on student interest in STEM. The study participants include ninth and 10th grade students enrolled in general science classes from public school districts in NGSS and non-NGSS classrooms in the United States. Interest was measured using the Likert-style Science Technology Engineering and Math Career Interest Survey. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to compare the mean scores derived from the instrument regarding overall science interest, individual STEM subscales, and gender variations across the participating classrooms. The results of the study indicate a statistically significant difference between the measures on the science and technology subscales as well as the overall STEM scores based on science standard type. No significant difference was found, however, for the mathematics or engineering subscales or for student gender.

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