School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Tyler Wallace


underrepresented youths, engagement, STEM attitude, knowledge-based learning, STEM careers, STEM Knowledge, DoD STARBASE, STEM programs


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a STEM education program, specifically STARBASE, on the STEM knowledge and attitudes of fifth grade students, as well as its effect on their pursuit of STEM careers, with a focus on female and racial minority students. Based on a sample of 197 fifth graders from a school district in Southern California, the intervention took place at STARBASE, while the control group remained at their respective schools. A quasi-experimental design was used in the study, with four experimental and four control groups. A STEM knowledge assessment and S-STEM attitude survey were used to collect data, with a pretest-posttest design. To analyze the data, the researcher used two tools: Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and paired t-test. The results of the study revealed a significant improvement in the STEM knowledge and attitudes of the experimental group as compared to the control group, with female and minority students demonstrating particularly strong gains. The study emphasizes the significance of early STEM education and its potential influence on students' future career decisions, especially for underrepresented groups in STEM fields. It is recommended that additional research investigate the long-term effects of short-term STEM programs on students' academic and career paths.