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America's Children: Providing Early Exposure to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiatives

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Recent attention has been brought to light in the United States regarding low numbers of students pursing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines and degree programs (National Science Board, 2010). There is a great need in America for talented scientists and engineers. Numerous programs abound for high school and middle school students in regard to STEM initiatives; however, fewer opportunities exist for elementary students and their teachers. Research has shown that early exposure to STEM initiatives and activities positively impacts elementary students' perceptions and dispositions (Bagiati, Yoon, Evangelou, & Ngambeki, 2010; Bybee, & Fuchs, 2006). By capturing students' interest in STEM content at an earlier age, a proactive approach can ensure that students are on track through middle and high school to complete the needed coursework for adequate preparation to enter STEM degree programs at institutions of higher learning. As a result, programs focusing on STEM initiatives and content are a growing priority in American schools with aims to provide early exposure for elementary students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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