Enhancing Elementary Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about STEM through a Student-Led STEM Fest

Kalani Eggington, Andrew Goodman, Krista Ruggles
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Abstract


Nationwide, low numbers of students are entering STEM-related fields. This is especially true for underrepresented populations and students from rural areas where access to STEM enrichment programs is limited. This qualitative study researched the impact of Micro STEM Fests on 1st to 5th grade students and investigated participating teachers’ attitudes toward STEM. The Micro STEM Fest kits used for this study include ten engineering and technology challenges. 5th graders studied and practiced these challenges and then led a Micro Stem Fest for 1st to 4th grade students. Survey and interview data were gathered from participating students and teachers in a rural district. Data was analyzed by grade levels and two themes were identified. Firstly, STEM knowledge was built through handling of materials, engaging in the engineering design process, and enjoying the challenge posed by the concept or activity. Secondly, positive attitudes towards STEM were developed because of their participation, evidenced by students’ desire for harder challenges, and expressed enjoyment of autonomous creativity with STEM activities. This paper briefly reviews the literature, describes the methodology, defines and discusses the findings, and makes recommendations for future research.

Keywords


STEM, STEM fairs, Cross-grade collaboration, Engineering design process

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References


Eggington, K., Goodman, A., & Ruggles, K. (2024). Enhancing elementary students' knowledge and attitudes about STEM through a student-led STEM fest. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 8(2), 219-232. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijtes.544




DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijtes.544

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International Journal of Technology in Education & Science (IJTES)-ISSN: 2651-5369


 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.