Robert H. Tai


This chapter examines data from three of studies on the theme of science interest development and how science might be developed or sustained. The first analysis examines when science interest among professionals in science and engineering first develops. Using these results, the subsequent analysis focuses on youth in grades 3–8 by comparing parallel analyses on data sets collected in 2012 and 2017 that examine youth preferences for learning activities commonly applied in both formal and informal science curriculum. The results offer insights into how youth who report aspiring to science and engineering careers have learning preferences that differ from their peers who do not aspire to science and engineering career. The discussion offers some insight into how these different groups might be engaged so that science and engineering aspirations may be sustained in one group and engendered in another.