Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Carol Knicker




This study investigated the effects of using role models to teach lessons about real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) content through experiential learning to increase interest in STEM careers. The research conducted in a large upper Midwest middle school. Five data collection tools were used: Likert scale rating, pre and post intervention student interest in STEM surveys, student role model evaluation survey, STEM role model research project scores, and Rube Goldberg project scores. Pre and post data was categorized into three content areas: science, math, and technology and engineering. While quantitative evidence identified a minor decrease in interest of technology and engineering, increases in math and science were identified in student interest surveys. Quantitative evidence identified both project scores showed average class scores of “C’s.” Evidence from the role model evaluations resulted in varied results of neutral and increased interest in STEM. The findings suggest that role models teaching lessons about real-world STEM, and providing learning experiences related to their content area for students, does increase interest in STEM career as indicated by the pre and post intervention student interest surveys.

Included in

Education Commons