Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Involve Parents to Raise STEM Enrollment

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Involve Parents to Raise STEM Enrollment

Article excerpt

To get high school students to take math and science courses, involve their parents, suggests a new study published in Psychological Science. Researchers tested this hypothesis with 181 high school students and their parents in Wisconsin.

The test spanned the students' 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade years.

In October of 10th grade, the re-searchers mailed some of the parents a glossy brochure emphasizing the importance of math and science in daily life and for various careers. In January of 11th grade, they mailed the same parents a similar brochure that also included information about a dedicated website with links to resources about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and careers. The site included interviews with college students glad they had taken math and science courses in high school. In spring of 11th grade, researchers asked the parents to complete an online questionnaire about the website.

Parents in the control group received none of these materials. In the summer after 12th grade, all families--adolescents and parents--completed a final questionnaire about their interactions with the brochures and the website and their perceived utility of math and science courses. …

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