Various intervention programmes and research studies have addressed the underrepresentation of young women and other underrepresented groups of young people in STEM fields, and have intended to increase their interest in these areas. With the aim to explore the characteristics and effectiveness of these programmes, the GenTIC team has carried out a scoping review that examines the interventions designed to encourage interest in STEM among secondary school students, particularly female students, over the past 20 years.

 

A systematic search of the literature in five databases and additional search strategies resulted in identifying 215 studies evaluating interventions in different disciplinary fields. The researchers carried out the data extraction and synthesis of these studies, focusing on the methodologies and theoretical foundations used. Twenty-five references were selected to illustrate best practices in designing and evaluating interventions that address the various facets of young people’s lack of interest in STEM. Finally, the authors discuss the implications of the review findings for the design of future interventions and highlight the need for more rigorous theoretical foundations, which would have an impact on the outcomes to be measured and the evaluation process.

 

This study has been developed as part of the research project GESTEMI, led by Milagros Sáinz and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO), the Spanish State Research Agency (AEI), and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Between 2018 and 2022, GESTEMI has analysed the effects and effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing young women’s interest in science and technology.

 

The article is available for open access in Frontiers in Psychology.

 

Reference:

Sáinz, M. [Milagros], Fàbregues, S. [Sergi], Romano, M. J. [María José], López, B-S. [Beatriz-Soledad] (2022). Interventions to increase young people’s interest in STEM. A scoping review. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 954996. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.954996

 

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