Effectiveness of a Summer Experience for Inspiring Interest in Geoscience Among Hispanic-American High School Students

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Articles and Special Issues
Miller, K. C., Carrick, T., Martínez-Sussmann, C., Levine, R., Andronicos, C. L., & Langford, R. P. (2007). Effectiveness of a Summer Experience for Inspiring Interest in Geoscience Among Hispanic-American High School Students. Journal of Geoscience Education, 55(6), 596-603. DOI: 10.5408/1089-9995-55.6.596
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Summer programs are a common strategy for increasing interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers among K-12 students. Here we report four years of results from a two-week program designed to expose Hispanic-American high school students in El Paso, Texas to content and careers in the geosciences. The goal of the program was to grow interest in geoscience among a group of students already interested in STEM careers in order to spur a long-term increase in the number of students entering the geosciences from a demographic group that is now greatly under- represented in the geoscience workforce. Short-term indicators, in the form of data from pre- and post-participation surveys, show statistically significant positive changes in participants' attitudes towards geoscience. Longer-term indicators, in the form of survey results designed to track participants' college careers, show that 55% are still in the geoscience pipeline, as measured by a choice of a STEM discipline as a college major and 10% are geology majors. This high retention rate compares very favorably with national data that show that in 2001, 32% of all bachelor's degrees were awarded in science and engineering disciplines of which 1% were in geosciences.

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