Thesis Defense Announcement

The Herff College of Engineering announces the Final Thesis Defense of

Hollan Aguayo

for the Degree of Master of Science

on November 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM in Engineering Administration Building, Room 101

Advisor: Mohd. Hasan Ali

Development and Impact of a STEM Education Outreach Program for K-12 Students

ABSTRACT: Studies show that K-12 students struggle more with math and science courses than other topics taught in their curriculum. As a result, K-12 students may be deterred from pursuing opportunities in these fields, remain disengaged and seek other career opportunities. This leads to a shortage of STEM workers while job opportunities in STEM continue to grow at a faster pace than any other field. The STEM Ambassador program is designed to increase K-12 students' interest in and preparation for STEM majors and careers through employing undergraduate students as mentors, STEM activity leaders and tutors in K-12 schools. A secondary goal is to improve communication and leadership skills with the ambassadors themselves. Impact of the program was assessed by collection and analysis of K-12 student test score data for students working with STEM Ambassadors and their matched peers without STEM Ambassadors in their classrooms and survey data from K-12 students, K-12 teachers, and STEM Ambassadors. The data analysis revealed that students in classrooms with STEM ambassadors yielded significantly higher average test scores throughout the year than those without an ambassador in their classrooms. Teachers reported the STEM Ambassadors had a positive impact in their classrooms in both engagement and material learned. STEM Ambassadors reported an increase in leadership and communication skills. The STEM Ambassador program is an effective model for positively impacting K-12 student perceptions and knowledge of STEM concepts while improving critical skillsets with the Ambassadors as well.