“I decided to change the world”: a case study on three girls’ perceived abilities in STEM
Dobos, Laura A.
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This qualitative, case-study research is intended to contribute to the literature about the factors that influence young girls to envision themselves as individuals who are valued and capable in the realm of STEM. Through the implementation of maker pedagogies, this research addresses the question of how motivation, passion, and environmental factors (including the kinds of technology they interact with), impact the self-perception that three young girls have of their abilities in STEM, and in turn, their self-perceived STEM identity. This research took place over the course of a week, during a March Break camp, at Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Education. Findings suggest that throughout the week, as the participants engaged with ‘making,’ became more comfortable with their chosen ‘deep-dive’ technology and created their passion projects, they became more motivated in their abilities to create critically meaningful things with the Internet of Things (IoT). This increased motivation led to improved confidence to create with IoT, which ultimately, had a positive impact on their self-efficacy in STEM.