Date of Award
Action Research Project
Master of Arts in Education
The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze three different gender groups' interest and confidence in STEM as well as their perception of their group work experience (and how that impacts their views of STEM) over the course of a three-day integrated STEM unit. This action research followed three different small groups of various gender compositions: an all-girl group (GGG), a group of two girls, and one boy (GGB), and a group of one girl and two boys (GBB). Data was collected over the course of the STEM unit through pre- and post-surveys, video footage, and exit tickets. Overall, when looking at the different gender grouping’s perception of success or lack-there-of and their enjoyment of the STEM activity in this action research, the results support the biggest contributing factor to the ratings of their overall experience was more heavily impacted by their perception of how well their prototype worked or how well their experiment went than the type of gender group they were a part of. While gender is definitely a factor that impacts a student's STEM experience, we know it is only one factor in solving the puzzle of how to increase adolescent female’s perceptions, interest, and enjoyment in STEM. Even so, this is an extremely worthwhile area to continue studies and research to gain more perspectives and more samples to determine the best pedagogical STEM small group strategies."
Smith, Karee. (2021). How Gender Composition affects Collaborative Small Group Work and Female’s Attitudes towards STEM at the Upper-Elementary School Level. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/411