Am i stem? Broadening participation by transforming students’ perceptions of self and others as stem-capable

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To meet the needs of the 21st century, the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce will require universities to produce STEM-capable individuals who STEM identify, and who feel STEM connected. However, higher education institutions tend to operate in disciplinary silos; only those in STEM disciplines are tasked with sourcing solutions for complex STEM problems. In this study, the authors explore how participation in an integrative STEM internship experience (Data Science for Social Good) transforms students from different disciplinary backgrounds’ STEM identity. Findings reveal that STEM and non-STEM students undergo shifts in perspectives regarding themselves and others as STEM-capable. Implications and recommendations are discussed.

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