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Research Articles

Vol. 24 No. 3

Effectiveness of a Pre-College STEM Outreach Program

August 3, 2020


Workforce shortages in the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have led to an increasing need for STEM outreach programs for high school students. This paper presents an integrated approach to such efforts; government agencies, the host university, and local professional associations play meaningful roles in program design and implementation. This paper also evaluates program effectiveness in increasing high school students' likelihood of studying STEM in college. Beginning and end-of-program surveys, coupled with demographic data, provide rich information on participants' backgrounds and their responses to STEM exposure and intervention. A discrete choice model discovers participants' differential valuation of program effectiveness and quantifies the factors that influence participants' pursuit of STEM college education due to program participation. In addition to demographics and family culture, overall program experience is critical to the perceived benefits of STEM exposure. Findings can help educators and outreach program directors develop appealing STEM outreach curriculum.