Effects of Informal STEM Education on Underrepresented Students

Brian Tedeschi, Purdue University


Informal learning environments are critical to supplemental student learning outside the formal classroom space. The problem the research addressed is the lack of informal STEM learning programs for underrepresented minority, female, urban, and rural students. The purpose of this research was to demonstrate the effect informal STEM learning has on the population’s self-efficacy and interest in STEM. The intervention for this research study was a seven-day informal learning summer camp involving five STEM projects from around the field and aligned with relevant fields offered by the Purdue University Polytechnic Institute. The participants worked in large and small group sessions with program volunteers to gain foundational learning outcomes. The outcome was measured using the STEM-CIS survey instrument in a pre-and post-testing format. The data was coded from the Likert scale and then used to calculate statistics and effect size for Likert-style data. The intervention was performed during the summer of 2021 and yielded results showing that students felt the effect of having role models and professionals involved in the STEM field.




Lucietto, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Science education|Educational sociology|Educational evaluation

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server