Research ArticleEDUCATION

Interest in STEM is contagious for students in biology, chemistry, and physics classes

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Science Advances  09 Aug 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 8, e1700046
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700046
  • Fig. 1 Comparing interest quorum groups on STEM career choice.

    Student-reported likelihood of choosing a STEM career as a function of the highest interest quorum experienced in students’ last high school biology, chemistry, or physics class [from most students “Not at all interested” (group 0) to “Very interested” (group 4)]. Dark bars represent means without covariates, and light bars represent means after controlling for covariates including gender, academic achievement, family support for science and mathematics, and previous STEM career interests in middle school and high school. Error bars represent ±1 SE.

  • Fig. 2 Effect sizes for group-level difference on STEM career choice.

    Effect size (Cohen’s d) of differences between interest quorum groups as a function of the gap between group levels (that is, groups 1 and 2 have a gap of 1, whereas groups 1 and 3 have a gap of 2), both with no covariates and with covariates of gender, academic achievement, family support for science and mathematics, and previous STEM career interests in middle school and high school.

  • Fig. 3 Comparing discipline interest quorum groups on disciplinary career choice.

    Student-reported likelihood of choosing a biology, chemistry, or physics career as a function of the interest quorum experienced in biology, chemistry, or physics class, respectively [from most students “Not at all interested” (group 0) to “Very interested” (group 4)]. Covariates included gender, academic achievement, family support for science and mathematics, and previous STEM career interests in middle school and high school. Error bars represent ±1 SE.

  • Fig. 4 Comparing discipline interest quorum groups on course performance.

    Student grades in biology, chemistry, or physics course (on GPA scale) as a function of the interest quorum experienced in biology, chemistry, or physics, respectively [from most students “Not at all interested” (group 0) to “Very interested” (group 4)]. Covariates included academic achievement and previous STEM career interests in middle school. Error bars represent ±1 SE.

  • Table 1 ANCOVA results for STEM career choice.

    Comparing interest quorum groups on STEM career intentions with multiple covariates included.

    dfFP
    Gender150.2<0.0001
    Academic achievement index152.6<0.0001
    Family’s interest in science—a diversion or hobby132.5<0.0001
    Family’s interest in science—a way for me to have a better career1104.2<0.0001
    Family’s interest in math—a diversion or hobby139.7<0.0001
    Family’s interest in math—a way for me to have a better career141.0<0.0001
    STEM career interest in middle school134.2<0.0001
    STEM career interest at the beginning of high school144.7<0.0001
    Interest quorum groups414.6<0.0001

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/3/8/e1700046/DC1

    Supplementary Materials and Methods

    fig. S1. Home zip codes of student respondents.

    fig. S2. Box plot of STEM career choice by interest quorum groups.

    table S1. ANCOVA post hoc tests for STEM career choice.

    table S2. ANCOVA results for disciplinary career choice (with student covariates).

    table S3. ANCOVA post hoc tests for disciplinary career choice (with student covariates).

    table S4. ANCOVA results for course performance (with student covariates).

    table S5. ANCOVA post hoc tests for course performance (with student covariates).

    table S6. ANCOVA results for disciplinary career choice (with student and teaching covariates).

    table S7. ANCOVA post hoc tests for disciplinary career choice (with student and teaching covariates).

    table S8. ANCOVA results for course performance (with student and teaching covariates).

    table S9. ANCOVA post hoc tests for course performance (with student and teaching covariates).

    table S10. Description of sample.

    table S11. Interest quorum group frequencies.

    table S12. Maximum interest quorum frequency.

    table S13. Student differences covariates frequencies/descriptive statistics.

    table S14. Disciplinary teacher quality covariate descriptive statistics.

    References (3437)

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Materials and Methods
    • fig. S1. Home zip codes of student respondents.
    • fig. S2. Box plot of STEM career choice by interest quorum groups.
    • table S1. ANCOVA post hoc tests for STEM career choice.
    • table S2. ANCOVA results for disciplinary career choice (with student covariates).
    • table S3. ANCOVA post hoc tests for disciplinary career choice (with student covariates).
    • table S4. ANCOVA results for course performance (with student covariates).
    • table S5. ANCOVA post hoc tests for course performance (with student covariates).
    • table S6. ANCOVA results for disciplinary career choice (with student and teaching covariates).
    • table S7. ANCOVA post hoc tests for disciplinary career choice (with student and teaching covariates).
    • table S8. ANCOVA results for course performance (with student and teaching covariates).
    • table S9. ANCOVA post hoc tests for course performance (with student and teaching covariates).
    • table S10. Description of sample.
    • table S11. Interest quorum group frequencies.
    • table S12. Maximum interest quorum frequency.
    • table S13. Student differences covariates frequencies/descriptive statistics.
    • table S14. Disciplinary teacher quality covariate descriptive statistics.
    • References (34–37)

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