Science Education Department (SED)

Persistence Research in Science and Engineering

High school students in the US are exposed to many in-class strategies and activities, as well as extra-curricula programs, that are aimed at increasing the interest of females in pursuing careers in science and engineering. Teachers' freedom to choose to address the issue of making science more friendly to females and to choose the methods to employ makes it difficult to conduct controlled educational experiments to measure effectiveness. Epidemiological methods are ideal for mining the backgrounds of first-year college students for predictors of interest in science and engineering, while controlling for demographic differences. Project PRiSE will examine the connection between the exposure of high school students to a variety of interventions and their later persistence in course-taking and selection of major for 7,000 four-year and two-year college students nationwide, focusing deliberately upon predictors of persistence for women. This study has the capability to reveal and bolster the use of the most promising educational practices.

To see a copy of the PRiSE survey, click here.

For more information, please contact: Gerhard Sonnert, gsonnert@cfa (add, (617)495-8248


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