Three Northeastern University faculty members in the Graduate School of Education have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to answer these questions. They will focus, in particular, on women and underrepresented minorities, which are groups that are disproportionately employed in the fields known collectively as STEM.
To investigate why students become interested in STEM, the Northeastern researchers will study the CAPS in Overland Park, Kansas, that prepares students for their careers. High school juniors and seniors who attend the program immerse themselves in fields that interest them and that are in high demand. Students work on projects that are similar to what they would be doing as employees in those industries. The researchers will evaluate how well the program prepares students for careers specifically in STEM, then share how their work can be used to evaluate similar programs in other public school districts in the United States.