Anjali Patel, Texas A&M University – Commerce

The Role of Personality Traits and External Factors for Increased STEM Awareness and Education

Abstract: The economy is in need of more engineers and skilled workers in the field of science, technology, and mathematics (STEM). The engineers also should possess competencies in communication, critical-thinking and collaboration which are also known as 21st century skills. US government has designed multiple initiatives to increase student’s interest and involvement towards STEM subjects and careers across the country. Big Five model was found to be useful to relate attitude of students towards STEM education by studying their personality as the five-factor model (Big Five Traits prominent) is the dominant approach for representing the human trait structure today. Based on this, we proposed a new model called STEM seeker model that adds additional factors to the Big Five mode to strengthen its ability to identify factors that may be useful in understanding awareness of people/student decision factor for STEM as their chosen majors.

Our research investigates the external factors such as jobs, area of interest, education, scholarships and funding, internship advantages and future job perspectives as additional attributes to consider. Multiple groups from different disciplines will be surveyed to collect data sets for analysis. Specially designed questionnaires will be developed based on Big Five model with additional factors that are specific to STEM. Special data analytics methods such as clustering, classification, and support vector machines would be used for the analysis of data collected. The implication of this research is to identify factors that enabled students to choose STEM as major. Additionally finding these factors will help identify non-STEM majors who may have strong potential for STEM major.

Presentation Author(s):
Anjali Patel*

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