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Amber Simpson, Jackie Barnes and Adam V. Maltese

Abstract

Making and tinkering is being viewed as an interdisciplinary approach to promote learning of knowledge, practices, and skills across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in informal (e.g., science and art museums) and formal (e.g., school-based makerspaces) contexts. In this chapter, we present two frameworks for mapping the overlap between making practices developed by Wardrip and Brahms (2015) and standards-based practices developed for PreKindergarten to Grade 12 education. We apply the two frameworks to a making task of one youth who constructed a car using LEGOs and littleBits, electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets. Through the case of Bailey, we highlight how informal and formal learning environments speak to one another to promote STEM learning for students of all ages.

Adam V. Maltese, Heidi Ross, Lei Wang and Yimin Wang

Abstract

This paper introduces the design and implementation of a comparative survey research project, amistem [Assessing Multinational Interest in stem (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)] in China, the U.S., and Australia that is being conducted by researchers at Indiana University. We begin with an overview of how survey research has developed in China during the past two decades, especially in the field of higher education. This analysis provides the backdrop for considering the challenges we faced in “internationalizing” the stem survey research project. Part two of the paper illuminates the difficulties of implementing the study in multiple contexts, including China. Part three of the paper examines challenges related to the translation and cultural adaptation of the u.s.-based survey for the Chinese context. Our conclusions shed light on the contexts, processes, challenges and possibilities of conducting multi-national survey research in China, as well as on ways to insure that multi-national surveys are culturally appropriate and comparable.

Dionne Cross Francis, Kerrie G. Wilkins-Yel, Kelli M. Paul and Adam V. Maltese

Abstract

The underrepresentation of women and racialized minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines endures. In response, research, policy initiatives, STEM Enrichment programs, school and teacher education programs, and after-school activities were implemented to address this need. Nonetheless, women and people of color remain markedly underrepresented in many aspects of STEM and studies often fail to discuss the interplay of the institutional, societal, and systemic contributors to this disparity. Our purpose with this chapter is to shed light on the ways in which these broader contextual factors influence girls’ perceptions of, engagement with, and subsequent participation and persistence in STEM education. Identification and delineation of elements of the problem are important, but it is also critical for educators to consider ways to ameliorate these issues. For a girl to successfully pursue a STEM career path, she must first be able to see it as possible, then embrace it as an aspect of her identity and be provided with the resources to boldly traverse this pathway. Ensuring that girls receive support for STEM career development early, thereby building awareness of the range of possible STEM professions, how lucrative they are, and details on what the career pathway entails is essential for setting goals. Given the role identity development plays in shaping interest and engagement, it is imperative that minority girls have opportunities to connect with STEM professionals with whom they can identify. We further discuss promising practices for addressing inequities in the chapter.