The effect of integrated science, engineering, technology, and mathematics lessons on interest and engagement of secondary students

Cameron Nunan, Purdue University


This study set out to answer the research question: Does teaching a single lesson, utilizing the interconnected principles of STEM in STEM courses, increase overall student interest and engagement in STEM classes in secondary schools? The literature review established a need for student interest in STEM to help fill future STEM careers. Integrated STEM lessons were a viable option for increasing interest, but existing research on the matter was limited. Integrated STEM lessons were applied at a test site school using a multiple baseline framework and evaluated responses with a variation of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI). According to the results, two of the classes, Natural Resources, and Introduction to Agriculture, Foods, and Natural Resources, showed improved interest/motivation when exposed to an integrated STEM lesson. Two other classes, General Science, and Introduction to Engineering Design, did not show improvement, but maintained high scores on the IMI throughout the study and may have represented a ceiling effect. At the end of data collection and analysis, it was concluded that integrated STEM lessons show potential for increasing student interest/motivation in STEM in certain contexts, depending on what was happening in each classroom.




Mentzer, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education|Teacher education|Engineering

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