Research Goals for Engineering Experiences: Student Competency, Motivation, and Persistence in STEM  for Underserved Youth

Goal 1: Contribute to ITEST research questions

  1. What coherent sets of experiences effectively and efficiently support student competency, motivation, and persistence for productive participation in STEM?
  2. What strategies might parents, mentors and caregivers adopt in the modern digital and computer age that develop student understandings of scientific, technical, mathematical, and engineering basis of technological developments?
  3. Given the shifting demographics, what are effective and productive ways to ensure broadening participation by engaging diverse underrepresented populations in STEM programs and careers? 

Goal 2: Provide formative feedback to R&D teams

Annual ITEST Research Posters: 2017 and 2016 (Click on images to enlarge.)







  Theoretical Framework

Utility Value - Perceived importance and relevance of tasks to one’s life.1 Relevance interventions have been shown to increase perceptions of utility value, which in turn can lead to an increase in youth’s situational interest and performance.2







1 Eccles, J., Adler, T. F., Futterman, R., Goff, S. B., Kaczala, C. M., Meece, J. L., & Midgley, C. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 75–146). San Francisco, CA: Freeman.

2 Hulleman, C. S., Godes, O., Hendricks, B. L., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2010, October 11). Enhancing Interest and Performance With a Utility Value Intervention. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0019506