Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)
General Human Environmental Sciences
Kathleen R. Smith
Second Committee Member
Education, Circuits, Girls, Middle-school, STEM, Self-efficacy
The purpose of this study is to determine if the experience of designing and sewing LilyPad Arduino circuits in crafts projects can increase middle school girls’ STEM self-efficacy. Boys STEM self-efficacy will also be assessed to determine if LilyPad Arduino circuits can also increase boys’ STEM self-efficacy. Researchers have been wondering why there is a male dominance in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and why some women do not have a particular interest in these subjects. There are several reasons this could happen; stereotypes conveyed to them by parents and/or teachers, they genuinely are not interested in STEM or their self-efficacy is low in STEM. This study investigated an intervention designed to increase the STEM self-efficacy of middle school girls. A four week workshop was conducted to evaluate whether designing and sewing circuits using the LilyPad Arduino system could in fact help raise middle school girls’ STEM self-efficacy. A total of 16 students in 6th-8th grade completed the workshop; 6 girls and 10 boys. After the workshop, data revealed that girls who completed the workshop were more likely to show STEM self-efficacy increases than girls who did not participate in the workshop. However, boys did not see a significant increase or decrease in STEM self-efficacy after completion of the workshop. Self-efficacy is one determinant of how much effort a student will put into an assignment or action, so increased self-efficacy could lead to increased effort in future STEM subjects.
Kaiser, K. (2016). Designing Sewn Circuits and STEM Self-Efficacy in Middle School Girls. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/1515