Discipline: Science & Mathematics Education
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Lycurgus Muldrow - Morehouse College
Co-Author(s): Alicia Thomas, Shondrieka Lamb, and Carol Shearer, Morehouse College
Utilitarian scientific literacy entails possessing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for obtaining a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Prior research suggests a need for improved utilitarian scientific literacy skills among high school students interested in careers in STEM, and pre-freshmen who plan to pursue STEM majors in college. This study reports the development and evaluation of a utilitarian scientific literacy curriculum that was implemented in a high school summer program designed for students interested in pursuing STEM careers, and a pre-freshman summer program for students who will declare a STEM major upon entering college. Pre-freshmen who matriculated through this summer program, upon entering college, had an 18% increased pass rate in core STEM courses compared to a control group. Evidence also indicates that these students had a greater understanding and heightened value for science, research, and related career opportunities, with a self-perceived enhancement of utilitarian scientific literacy skills. The high school summer program students who participated in the utilitarian scientific literacy curriculum were assessed using the Applied Learning Student Questionnaire (ALSQ) to provide information on their attitudinal, motivational, and behavioral perceptions towards science. The results from this retrospective pretest/posttest ALSQ survey documented a statistically significant increase in students’ intrinsic motivation, self-management/self-regulation skills and intent to persist in STEM. In addition, 22% of the high school students changed their plans to pursue a higher level of STEM education.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation HBCU-Undergraduate Program (1043330); Georgia Governor's Office for Student Achievement
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,