There is an under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields that influences society’s perception of women’s abilities in mathematics and science. This study researches the implications of participation in robotics on girls’ achievement and perceptions. Specifically studying the population at the high school of Mount Saint Joseph Academy, it searches for a correlation between membership on the Firebirds Robotics Team and higher GPA scores, SAT scores, and likelihood of having a major in STEM. Data was collected on robotics and non-robotics alumni by using a survey. Various significance tests including t-tests, signed rank tests, and paired tests, were implemented with the assistance of Mathematica, a computer algebra program. Additionally, correlation tests were performed Since the sample was strongly homogeneous, it did not lead to any general conclusions about involvement in robotics and high test scores; however, a correlation between being on the robotics team and SAT Reading scores was observed. This study also found that women in robotics viewed women in STEM more positively after participation in roboticsthan before joining the team. With a more representative sample, this research could be reproduced and would likely reveal more definite answers about robotics being related to high scores and college majors in STEM. Some other recommendations would be to continue the research on society’s perceptions of women in STEM, which are often outdated. To decrease the rate of attrition of women in STEM fields, a shift in society’s perceptions to a more positive view is needed. A well-respected view of women in those fields will encourage girls to enter STEM fields and change society’s stereotypical image of them. One way to do this is to continue after-school programs dedicated to guiding students interested in STEM, such as robotics.
Costa, Nicole, "The Effect of Robotics on Test Scores and Involvement in STEM Fields" (2016). Undergraduate Research. 46.